Potential weightlifters to be groomed separately

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF) will proceed with a plan to disband the national team but without neglecting the athletes’ development.

A small group of athletes with the potential of winning medals for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham are expected to be be groomed separately.

The move to disband the team comes in the wake of two weightlifters who tested positive for performance-enhancing anabolic steroids. Both are expected to appear in a hearing likely to take place end of this month.

MWF president Datuk Ayub Rahmat said they had proposed to disband the team to National Sports Council (NSC).

“We have also submitted a list of athletes who are capable of winning medals for several competitions. We hope these athletes will not waste their opportunity,” said Ayub.

He said two events – the world and Commonwealth championships respectively in Uzbekistan end of this year will be the build-up tournaments for the Commonwealth Games.

It is important for Malaysian weightlifters to participate in Uzbekistan as the world meet and the Commonwealth championships will be the qualifying events for the Birmingham trip.

MWF have wrestled with doping problems in recent years with no less than five doping cases (excluding the current two) being recorded over the last five years.

In a bid to tackle the problem, MWF imposed a “voluntary” one-year ban on all their athletes from 2018-2019. Malaysia were also handed a five-month ban by the International Weightlifting Federation last year due to the high number of doping violations.

Ayub said the national body would be extra careful to ensure the national athletes were clean from doping.

“We will make sure that our preparation this time will not be plagued by doping issues and only athletes with the best potential and clean image will be selected for the national team,” added Ayub, who will ensure their athletes attend anti-doping seminars and workshops organised by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia (Adamas).”

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