All Malaysian athletes participating in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in June will undergo a mandatory doping test before departing for host city Singapore, a report said citing a senior sports minister.
Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysia’s youth and sportsminister said the measure was necessary to overcome any possible abuse of banned substances by the country’s athletes.
“I have ordered the Malaysian Anti-Doping Agency to conduct doping test on every athlete going to the SEA Games,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency late Tuesday.
Malaysia has been hit by two high-profile doping cases recently.
The country’s badminton star and two-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei was suspended after failing a doping test at last year’s badminton world championships.
Asian Games organisers last September expelled Malaysia’s wushu gold medal-winner Tai Cheau Xuen after she tested positive for a banned stimulant after winning Malaysia’s first gold in at the Games.
Tai, who has returned her gold medal, was banned until March 20 and is among the Malaysian athletes heading to Singapore.
Khairy said previous doping tests were only conducted on 30 percent of the athletes picked at random before they take part in a major sportsevents.
Sieh Kok Chi, Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary general hailed the move, saying it will deter athletes from using banned drugs.
“It is a deterrent. This is to ensure no Malaysian athlete is tested positive,” he told AFP.
Sieh confirmed that wushu exponent Tai will participate in the Games since she has completed her four-month suspension period.
The Southeast Asian Games will take place from June 5-16. Athletes from 11 participating nations are expected to compete in the Games which will showcase 36 sports including swimming, athletics and billiards. – Agence France-Presse