KUALA LUMPUR: National 400m runner Mohd Zaiful Zainal Abidin has gone AWOL.
The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) deputy president, Karim Ibrahim, said that the Kuala Lumpur athlete had not reported for training since taking part in the Malaysian Open championships at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Oct 10.
In the Malaysian Open, the 27-year-old Zaiful, who holds the national record of 46.41, bagged the bronze medal.
His coach, K. Jayabalan, has tried to contact him many times but to no avail.
“We do not know where he is at the moment. If he is unable to attend training because of personal reasons, he should at least inform any of the coaches or officials,” said Karim.
“As a national athlete he is not setting any good example to the others. We will not tolerate such indiscipline among the national athletes.”
Injury prompted Zaiful to quit in 2006 but he made a comeback a year later and was a member of the 4x400m team who won the gold medal in the 2007 Korat SEA Games.
The other members of the relay squad were Mohd Zafril Mohd Zuslaini, K. Amran Raj and S. Thipan.
Karim said that Zaiful had been selected to compete in the 400m and also the relay in the Asian Track and Field (ATF) championships in Guangzhou from Nov 10-14 and also in the Laos SEA Games in December.
“We have given him until Friday to return to training. Otherwise, we will drop him from the team and look for a replacement to team up with Zafril, Amran and Thipan for the ATF and SEA Games,” Karim said.