Haika Khazi, Mohd Khairie Khalid and Maria Uffa Zulkafeli
KUALA LUMPUR: The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) need to immediately hold a hearing into the case of a national diver who failed a dope test at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in August.
OCM assistant secretary-general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said the diver should be called in next week to hear her explanation after her B sample has been tested in India.
Kok Chi said it would not be right for the diver to be handed a long suspension given that the drug involved contained sibutramine, an appetite suppressant which is not performance-enhancing.
"The use of medication containing sibutramine is not new among female athletes who want to lose weight," said Kok Chi in Kuala Lumpur yesterday after the launch of a Milo initiative to produce talented athletes.
"In fact, two of the three athletes who failed dope tests at the Sea Games were due to sibutramine. I hope that OCM and Asum can call for a disciplinary board hearing as soon as possible to mete out an appropriate sentence after listening to her explanation."
If the diver is able to prove that she did not know sibutramine was an ingredient in the medication she took, Kok Chi said a lighter sentence should be handed out but one which adheres to World Anti-Doping Code.
"I hope that the suspension is not more than six months to allow the diver to be able to compete at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games next year," said Kok Chi.
"A previous case involving an athlete using the same drug saw a suspension of four months being imposed."
Kok Chi was referring to the case of wushu exponent Tai Cheau Xuen, who lost her gold medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games after failing a dope test.
Meanwhile, five elite national athletes joined Milo in celebrating the country's success at the recent Kuala Lumpur Sea Games and Asean Para Games.
Para sprinter Felicia Mikat, world junior squash champion Ng Eain Yow, karate exponent Syakilla Salni Jefry Krisnan, national basketball captain Nur Izzati Yaakob and swimmer Welson Sim were honoured by Milo as examples of athletes who successfully came through the Malaysian Schools Sports Council's development programmes.
Translated from Berita Harian