PUTRAJAYA, Nov 9 — National shot putter Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli will not receive the RM1 million reward under the National Sports Incentive Scheme (SHAKAM) following his disqualification in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said the decision made by the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS), however, was not a form of punishment for the para athlete after he missed out on the chance to defend his gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics in August.
Ahmad Faizal, without revealing the details, said several parties had offered to reward the 31-year-old athlete as an appreciation for his sacrifices and efforts at the multi-sports Games.
“The KBS has decided that no reward will be given to Muhammad Ziyad through SHAKAM.
“However, I will get in touch and discuss with Muhammad Ziyad regarding rewards that have nothing to do with the government’s financial allocation,” he told a media conference at the Integrity Day celebration and launch of the 2021 KBS-level Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan at Menara KBS here today.
Muhammad Ziyad was denied the gold medal in the men’s F20 (intellectual disability) shot put event. His throw of a distance of 17.94 metres (m) was also a new world record for the event.
He was classified as Did Not Start (DNS) following a protest lodged by Ukraine, who claimed that Muhammad Ziyad was late to enter the call room.
Ukraine’s Maksym Koval was announced as the gold medallist with a throw of 17.34m, breaking Muhammad Ziyad’s world record of 17.29m that he had set at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London.
Last week, an internal investigation committee appointed to look into Muhammad Ziyad’s disqualification at the Tokyo Paralympics found that the para athlete and his coach could not prove they had arrived at the call room at the appointed time.
Based on interview sessions and documents obtained by the committee, there was nothing that could prove that Muhammad Ziyad and his coach Mohd Faizol Harun were there at the appointed time although they assumed they had arrived before the registration period at the call room of the Tokyo Olympic Stadium last August. — Bernama