THE Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) has no contact at all with three missing national athletes who it had packed off to Bulgaria after skipping a drugs test. Norjannah Hafiszah Kamaruddin, Nurul Sarah Kadir and Noor Imran Hadi were put on a flight to Sofea, Bulgaria, last week by MAAU but president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim admits not knowing the exact whereabouts of the trio.
NSI director-general Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz (left) says it is the MAAU’s responsibility to find the missing athletes in order to complete their testing procedures as Nishel Kumar, head of Adamas, looks on yesterday. — Picture by Osman Adnan
Shahidan also deflected questions on the athletes' flight from the drugs tests, saying it should be directed at national chief coach Harun Rasheed instead.
"We confirm they arrived in Bulgaria but we don't know their location," said Shahidan at a press conference held just 30 minutes before one given by National Sports Institute director-general Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi yesterday.
"We don't know why they skipped the tests. You should ask the coach," added Shahidan despite Harun's repeated refusal to address media queries.
Shahidan, instead, laid the blame for the fiasco on the National Sports Council (NSC).
"I did not know what was going on until reporters told me. NSC should have informed us first rather than going to the media. But we hope to clear the air by establishing levels of communication with NSC," said Shahidan.
NSC director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong denied not informing MAAU and said it is now MAAU's duty to come clean over why the missing athletes fled the country.
"We told (R.) Annamalai, MAAU's doping committee chairman about this. But he said he did not know anything," said Zolkples when met later.
"MAAU is an interested party in this case. I don't know how they are going to handle it but we'll have to wait and see what happens. It's all in their hands now."