Erry fears Olympics dream dashed by dope cases

Heavy load on his shoulders: Erry Hidayat won the gold in the 81kg category at the recent Malaysia Games (Sukma). — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: National weightlifter Mohd Erry Hidayat dreams of competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics, but fears that it won’t be a reality due to the antics of some.

The recent doping cases in the Malaysia Games (Sukma) where three athletes tested positive – one from Perlis and two from Terengganu – during pre-competition testing, could incur the wrath of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

“My dream is the Olympics. I want to be in it. I am working hard for it, but because of what happened in Sukma, there is fear,” said the 23-year-old.

“This uncertainty would indeed affect the national weightlifters. We are all working hard to clean the image of the sport and have dreams of competing against the best in the world.

“We have the Asian Games, SEA Games and World Championships next year. I hope we all can get to compete, but it looks like we have to wait and see what happens.

“If we do get banned for more than a year, I can forget about the Olympics and will focus on continuing my studies.”

In 2020, the IWF suspended the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF) for one year from all activities and also banned their weightlifters from participating in the Tokyo Olympics for multiple doping offences in 2018.

And that was why the MWF president Datuk Ayub Rahmat had decided to issue a blanket ban on states whose weightlifters were caught doping in Sukma as per the national body’s firm stance on doping.

However, the National Sports Council (NSC) felt that only the three lifters should be penalised and not the whole team.

Irked by the decision, MWF withdrew all their officials from the Games and said any new national records would not be recognised.

NSC went on to organise the competition with their technical team, comprising former weightlifters.

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