MAU deputy president free to contest in elections

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Athletic Union (MAU) deputy president Datuk Karim Ibrahim is free to contest in tomorrow’s elections as the doping charges against him are inconclusive.

The inquiry committee formed to look into the allegations submitted their findings to MAU president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar and Karim on Thursday.

The report is believed to state that there is insufficient evidence to support the claims made against Karim.

“My lawyers A. Mahendran and Bernard Francis have had a look at the report and say I should go ahead and contest in the elections.

“I have every intention to do so as I’m innocent. I’ve received two nominations and will defend my post,” said Karim, who is seeking his third term as deputy president.

The inquiry committee, headed by retired judge Tan Sri V. C. George, was set up to investigate Karim’s alleged involvement in two doping controversies.

MAU are supposed to hold a press conference today to reveal the findings.

Karim said he was sad to be the victim of the damaging allegations made against him by athletes and coaches over the last few months.

“I’m disappointed with those who want me out of MAU,” he said. “It’s sad that my contribution to Malaysian athletics for so many years is not appreciated.”

Forty-two athletes and 16 coaches had handed a memorandum to Shahidan in February asking him to remove Karim as the deputy president.

Karim, who faces Terengganu AA president Datuk Wan Hisyam Wan Salleh and Selangor AA secretary K. Yogasveran in the elections, conceded that he faced a tough challenge.

“I leave it to the 15 affiliates to decide who they want as deputy president,” he said.

“But one thing is for certain. If I am re-elected I will not want to be the coaching committee chairman as I resigned from the post in April because the national coaches were unhappy with me.” Shahidan, who has been the MAU president since 2006, is being challenged by Negri Sembilan AA president Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad and former MAU deputy president Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah.

Danyal is also an Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) vice-president.

Incumbents Datuk R. Annamalai and Datuk Paduka Mumtaz Jaafar take on Mohamed Awang of Kelantan, Datuk Paiman Abdul Karim of Sabah, Rajemah Ahmad of Terengganu, P. Solomon of Kedah, S. Rajasegaran of Johor and Yogasveran in the contest for the four vice-president posts.

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