Karate: Rayner pays a heavy price

KUALA LUMPUR: Karate exponent Rayner Kinsiong knew that he had to reduce his weight six months before last November's Manila SEA Games when he was told to switch from the Under-80kg to 75kg category of the kumite contest. 

The 27-year-old Sabahan cut down on his meal, took weight reductions supplements, trained harder and did Malaysia proud by winning a silver medal at the Games. 

But all his efforts had will be in vain. 

IN HOT WATER: Sabahan Rayner Kinsion is expected to be stripped of his silver medal from theManila SEA Games.

The Sabahan has been tested positive for Phentermine, a prohibited drug which is found in slimming pills. 

Rayner, who has been in the national team since 1999, is expected to be stripped of his silver medal when the Philippines SEA Games Organising Committee (Philsoc) meet in April.  

Yesterday, Malaysia's Manila SEA Games chef-de-mission Low Beng Choo and national chief coach P. Arivalagan,confirmed that Rayner had tested positive.  

“I was informed about this by the Philsoc on Dec 23. We told the Malaysian Karate Federation (Makaf). We had a hearing with the athlete, the coach and Makaf representatives. The Head of the medical commissioner, Dr M. Jegathesan was also present,” said Beng Choo. 

“At the hearing, he (Rayner) was surprised with the result as he did not take it wilfully. He had only been taking supplements to lose weight. He however, waived his right to test the B sample and was willing to accept the consequences.” 

“This is an unfortunate case. It is not a stimulant to enhance performances but used for slimming purposes. Athletes and officials need to be educated on this. They must take everything that goes into their bodies seriously. All must learn from this.”  

Beng Choo added that it was now up to Makaf to decide on the next cause of action. 

Arivalagan said Rayner's case would be heard by their disciplinary board.  

“Rayner is a below-80kg kumite fighter. The event was not contested in Manila. The option was either to field him for the below 75kg or the open category. We made a decision to field him in the lower category as he stood a better chance of winning a gold medal.  

“It was unfortunate that a month before the Games, Rayner injured his ankle. He could not perform aerobic activities like cycling and running . 

“This did not help his bid to lose weight,” said Arivalagan.