Expressing regret that Noraseela and other Malaysian track and field athletes were bad-mouthing the MAAU, Karim said they should be careful not to be made pawns of those who were seeking to see the current leadership of the MAAU "bite the dust".
"Athletes have the right to voice their views and I will leave this matter (flak from athletes against the MAAU) to MAAU's executive council to decide on what action to take," he told Bernama here today.
Noraseela, who won the women's 400m hurdles gold at the ongoing 26th SEA Games in Indonesia yesterday (her fourth gold in the event in the SEA Games) , had taken the MAAU to task for neglecting the welfare of its athletes.
She lambasted the MAAU for bringing home the Malaysian 4x400m men's quartet of S.Kannathasan, P.Vuvaraj, Schzuan Ahmad Rosely and Mohd Yunus La Salleh, who were surprise winners of the gold in the event on Monday, even before the medal presentation ceremony, which was scheduled for the next day.
Karim said the MAAU did not have the powers to reschedule the medal presentation ceremony which was the prerogative of the organising committee and neither could it delay the quartet's flight home as flights were fully booked out of Palembang then.
"There are certain people who are making use of athletes to attack the leadership of the MAAU which is the oldest sports organisation in the country.
"Noraseela's accusations that some athletes are being given third class treatment have no basis whatsover becuase the MAAU treats all its athletes the same, irrespective of whether they are competing in local or international meets," he said.