Thursday, 8 March 2012

ATHLETICS: Shahidan stays mum on report

MAU president leaves it to proposed investigation committee

   FORMER national coach Harun Rasheed was given every opportunity to defend himself in a discipline inquiry which led to a one-year suspension imposed on him by the Malaysian Athletic Union (MAU).
   The inquiry, headed by MAU vice-president Datuk R. Annamalai, interviewed Harun who accepted responsibility for six national athletes skipping dope tests last May only to subsequently change his tune when hit with the ban.

   Harun last month said he acted on the orders of MAU deputy president Karim Ibrahim but this was not disclosed to the inquiry which also heard that three athletes submitted urine samples which did not belong to them during a medical test.

   The disciplinary committee’s findings were   leaked to a local daily yesterday, which among others, stated that sprinters Siti Zubaidah Adabi, Siti Fatima Mohamed and Yee Yi Leng admitted to giving doping samples belonging to another person during the medical test at the National Sports Institute (NSI) on May 24 last year after being told to do so by Harun a day earlier.

   The six athletes — the other three were Norjannah Hafiszah Jamaludin, Nurul Sarah Kadir and Nor Imran Hadi — skipped the out-of-competition dope tests after giving their samples for an earlier medical test.
   Besides Annamalai, only MAU president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Karim were given copies of the report and Shahidan yesterday declined comment when approached by reporters following a meeting with national coaches at the National Stadium.

   “The committee will decide,” was all Shahidan offered, referring to the proposed investigation committee which Shahidan has previously said will be headed by former Court of Appeal judge Datuk V.C. George to probe Harun’s allegations against Karim and the circumstances surrounding the positive dope test of relay runner Yunus Lasaleh.

   NSI director-general Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz said if the findings are true, the athletes had only succeeded in the cheating themselves as this concerned their health.

   “The medical tests are not designed to detect banned substances but rather to detect the presence of recreational drugs or if there is anything wrong with their health.

   “By giving someone else’s sample, they have only succeeded in undermining their own health because we would not have been able to detect if they were suffering from abnormal sugar levels, for example.
   “If  this had been done during the dope test, it would have been easy to detect because the dope test is more stringent and the urine properties would have aroused suspicion,” said Dr Ramlan, who added that it is a matter for MAU to look into.

   Meanwhile, the national coaches did not discuss a petition detailing their grouses against Karim with Shahidan yesterday as the programme for national athletes were laid out.

   “The president did not raise the issue and we did not want to disrupt the good nature of the meeting by talking about the petition. But had he brought it up, we would have had our say,” said sprints coach Hamberi Mahat.

Read more: NST

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