GEORGE TOWN: The two national elite weightlifters have tested positive for banned substances and will be recalled immediately from their centralised training camp in China.
The Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF) held a press conference here on Friday to confirm that the two lifters had tested positive for anabolic steroids during an out-of-competition testing done by the Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia (Adamas) in Bukit Jalil last month.
MWF president Datuk Ong Poh Eng refused to reveal the identity of the two lifters until the results of their B samples are known.
One of the athletes caught had traces of banned steroid methandienone while another had nandrolone.
Eight lifters left for China three weeks ago to prepare for the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Uzbekistan. They are Mohd Hafifi Mansor, Zulhelmi Pisol, Azroy Hazalwafie Izsar, Loro Welkinson, Fazrul Azri, Aznil Bidin, Constantine Clement and Mohd Nasir Roslan.
The competition in Uzbekistan from April 22-30 also serves as a qualifier for the Rio Olympic Games.
“It’s unfortunate that two elite weightlifters tested positive during an out-of-competition testing. They were given letters yesterday to inform them of their A sample results and they have two weeks to request for their B samples to be tested. Under the procedures, we cannot reveal their identities until their B samples turn out positive,” said Poh Eng, who is also the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) vice-president.
“We are making arrangements for the two athletes to return to Malaysia. A provisional suspension has been imposed, and the two lifters will not compete in Uzbekistan. MWF are still deciding on their replacements for the competition.
“MWF have always emphasised on athletes to stay away from drugs, and we will not compromise if our athletes are found guilty.”
MWF medical and anti-doping advisor Dr Terlochan Singh said the lifters face maximum sanction of a four-year ban if they waived their rights of the B samples tested.
“Both substances are listed among the banned steroids prohibited at all times, including during out-of-competition periods. If the two athletes waive their rights to have their B samples tested, they will likely face the maximum sanction of a four-year ban,” he said.
Also present at the press conference was National Sports Council’s (NSC) athletes division acting director Jefri Ngadirin.
Malaysian sports is still reeling from the high-profile doping cases of bodybuilder Sazali Samad and badminton star Lee Chong Wei.
Sazali is serving a four-year ban after failing an out-of-competition doping test last September while Chong Wei was suspended for eight months after testing positive for dexamethasone at the 2014 World Championships in Denmark.