KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — The Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) confirmed that a National woman cyclist who had alleged sexual harassment by her coach, has resumed training with the national squad.
MNCF vice president Datuk Amarjit Singh Gill said the federation had appointed Nor Alfizar Othman as the interim Mountain Bike (MTB) coach effective last Saturday to ensure preparations for the Cambodia SEA Games in May, progressed smoothly.
“All riders, including the alleged victim, reported for the National training camp at Nilai. However, Nor Alfizar has only been loaned from the Kedah Sports Council until the SEA Games.
“With only 27 more days before the SEA Games, we are concerned with the emotional and mental strength and focus of the riders. MNCF wants to ensure all riders are physically and mentally prepared to face the challenges.
“Let the police investigate the allegation,” he told reporters after a meeting between the MNCF and the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil, here today.
Nor Alfizar, 46, a Kedah state cycling coach has played a pivotal role in unearthing talent and grooming them to become prominent riders like Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri who went on to win a gold medal in the 500m Time Trial in New Delhi on June 20, last year.
On March 31, MNCF president Datuk Abu Samah Abd Wahab confirmed that he had received a report in connection with the alleged sexual harassment case involving a woman cyclist from the MTB team and that the Federation had immediately suspended the coach pending an investigation.
Amarjit Singh said the alleged victim was currently back to her normal condition after the incident and had already been showing her competitive approach towards training and preparations for the SEA Games.
“I spoke to her on Saturday for about 30 minutes over the phone. She was emotionally disturbed when these incident took place and of course we applaud her braveness to come forward and lodge a police report.
“During our conversation over the phone, she assured me and vic- president II Mohd Saiful Abdul Jalil, that she was 100 per cent ready to face the media when representing the country in competitions,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohd Saiful said defending the gold medal won at the Vietnam SEA Games in Hanoi last year from the mixed team Cross-Country Relay will remain the main target for this year’s SEA Games in Cambodia although a different approach in training will be adopted.
In Hanoi, apart from winning the gold medal in the mixed team Cross-Country Relay, the MTB team also won a silver and bronze in the women’s Cross-Country.
The Cambodia SEA Games is scheduled in Phnom Penh from May 5 to 17. — Bernama