KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek is unhappy with the way the Malaysian Athletic Union (MAU) are handling the doping scandal issue of their deputy president Datuk Karim Ibrahim.
“The public are also unhappy over the way MAU handled the issue. This is not a small matter as the scandal involves a high ranking official of MAU. I have asked the Sports Commissioner (Datuk Yassin Mohd Salleh) to monitor the matter. I want fast action to be taken by the association,” said Shabery.
Relay runner Mohd Yassin Lasaleh, who failed the dope test in the Indonesia SEA Games last November, alleged that Karim was the official who asked him to take pills and injections, which he was led to believe were vitamins.
Yassin said a Bulgarian doctor gave him the drugs while he was training in Miri in September. Yassin was in the 4x400m relay team who won the gold medal in the SEA Games.
Yassin also made a police report on the case on Feb 17.
Former national chief coach Harun Rasheed also alleged that Karim was the MAU official, who asked six national sprinters to skip the dope tests conducted by the National Sports Institute (NSI) last May.
The six sprinters are Norjannah Hafiszah Jamaluddin, Siti Mohamed, Siti Zubaidah Adabi, Yee Yi Ling, Nurul Sarah Abdul Kadir and Noor Imran Hadi.
Asked whether Karim should go on leave until his dope scandal investigation is over, Shabery said as the Sports Minister he cannot interfere in the matters of the association.
“I have no authority to ask Karim to go on leave,”said Shabery after he officially launched the Standard Chartered KL Marathon yesterday.
The KL Marathom will be held on June 24 and to date more than 9,000 have registered for the event.
This year’s marathon, which will be held at Dataran Merdeka, offers an increase in prize money – from RM100,000 to RM112,330.
The organisers are expecting 27,000 participants from 45 countries to take part in the run which is themed “Running for a Reason”.
Malaysian participants are in for a treat in this fourth edition of the run. The top finisher in the full marathon will get $US1,5000 (RM4,500) and the winner of the half marathon will pocket US$1,000 (RM3,000).