Monday, May 18, 2015

Athletes or officials, stop lighting it!

KUALA LUMPUR: National Institute of Sports (NSI) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz has called for a concerted effort to curb the smoking habit among the athletes and officials.
And he feels that any fine or punishment for the offence committed should be borne by those caught in the act.

“Any Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) structure that we come up with to combat this menace has to be seen as a serious deterrent. Otherwise, we’re not going to stop it. And I believe the time has come for some concrete action to be taken,” said Dr Ramlan after learning that the Malaysian contingents to last year’s Commonwealth Games and Asian Games were fined about RM150,000 for smoking and causing damage to property.

“I don’t think it is right for the OCM (Olympic Council of Malaysia) or sports associations to pay the fines imposed on those who were caught for smoking.

“It’s not as if the athletes were not warned about the dangers and also the pollution it causes to the training and competition areas. If the athletes want to break the rules, then they must pay for it. It’s simple as that, ” added Dr Ramlan.

He said he was surprised by the heavy fines imposed by the organisers of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Asian Games in Incheon.

“I was not aware of these fines. But I have to agree that this is serious and we cannot afford to ignore the effects it is having on our athletes and also the image of the country.

“You also cannot cause damage to others or property for whatever reasons,” he added.
Dr Ramlan said they would raise the smoking issue when the Singapore SEA Games-bound athletes attend the national training camp in Putrajaya from May 22-24.

He added that the Malaysian contingent should not only aim for zero tolerance towards doping, but also smoking.

by S. Ramaguru - The Star

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