JOHOR BARU, July 30 — The Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (PABM) has called for weightlifting event to be considered at the 2020 Malaysia Games (Sukma), to find new talents.
Its president, Datuk Ayub Rahmat, expressed his dissatisfaction over the decision whether weightlifting was to be contested at the biggest national sporting event was still under consideration because it would dash budding athletes’ dreams and opportunities.
“PABM took note of Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s statement saying that it was still considering whether weightlifting would be made an event in Sukma 2020.
“The Federation considers the statement as unfair because the percentage of positive doping cases in weightlifting event during the Perak Sukma was just 1.7 per cent, which was three out of 177 athletes who participated at the national biggest sporting event last year,” he said in a statement, today.
Ayub said the banned substance used by the three athletes came into effect last year, where it was previously allowed and it was likely that the National Sports Council (NSC) supplier was not informed of the matter.
He noted that all states had made preparations for Sukma 2020 and competitions between training centres, friendly and inter-state competitions were in full swing, and if the event was to be dropped it would jeopardise PABM, as well as the State’s Sports Council and State’s PABM efforts.
According to Ayub, he was informed that discussions and site visits to the Sukma 2020 weightlifting event had been carried out several times and received positive response to ensure the event could be organised.
“PABM together with MSN, the Malaysian Anti-Doping Agency (Adamas), state weightlifting associations as well as athletes and coaches had worked together to prevent the doping issue from occurring in the sport.
“Various programmes which include seminars, educational workshops, informational sessions and doping screening tests for national athletes competing at international tournaments have been carried out,” he said.
Ayub said PABM had also suspended the participation of its athletes in the international tournaments for a year starting from May 30, 2018, until last April, with the aim to teach and educate athletes about the banned substances in the sport.
Thus far, he said there was no recent doping case from the screening tests on national athletes carried out by Adamas and World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), which showed that PABM, state weightlifting associations, coaches and athletes were serious in addressing the doping issue.
“Therefore, on behalf of the PABM, state weightlifting associations, coaches and athletes I urge that the weightlifting event be considered and re-listed into the Sukma Johor 2020, with the goal to develop the new potential Malaysian athletes,” he said.
Yesterday, Syed Saddiq was reported to have said that the position of weightlifting event in Sukma 2020 was still vague and was placed under “KIV” status (for further consideration) by the Sukma 2020 Supreme Committee.
Syed Saddiq said the committee wanted to ensure that weightlifting was free of doping issues since every year there were weightlifters caught on the issue.
Sukma 2020 will take place in Johor from July 11 to 19. — Bernama