By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) have warned all teams for the Laos SEA Games to expect transportation problems and less than ideal training facilities prior to the start of the biennial sports carnival on Dec 9.
The OCM secretary general, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, said that transportation problems had become a norm in the Games and he did not want the teams to press the panic button over them.
“This is usually the case in the first few days after our arrival. But it will improve once the competitions begin,” he said.
“It is important that team managers stay on top of things and sort them out as quickly as possible. We even had these problems when Thailand, who are seasoned hosts, held the Games in Korat in 2007.
“This is a first time for Laos. Our teams must be aware of the situation and ensure that they get things sorted out quickly instead of just complaining.”
Kok Chi said that all teams had been allocated training venues and he reminded them not to expect top class facilities.
“We have been given assurances that all teams will get to train at competition venues a few times. I have been told that all venues are ready and that there are adequate training grounds for teams to practise,” he said.
The Laos Games will feature 25 sports and Malaysia will compete in 21 of them.
The men’s football team will be the first batch of Malaysians to leave for Vientiane today. Their event starts on Wednesday. The women’s team will leave tomorrow followed by the main contingent on Saturday. And the OCM set up their secretariat in Vientiane yesterday.
Kok Chi also said that the doping procedures at the Games would be in good hands with three Malaysian doctors in the committee.
The OCM deputy president, Datuk Dr M. Jegathesan, is the advisor to the doping panel while Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema and Dr Gurucharan Singh are among the committee members.
“So we should not worry about the doping procedures. Teams can rest easy that we have our people there to ensure everything is done properly. Doping will be carried out for all sports,” said Kok Chi.