Friday, May 8, 2015

Five lessons on how to handle a failed doping test

KUALA LUMPUR: There is always something positive that we can learn from negative situations.
And that includes the several doping cases involving Malaysians over the last one year.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi believes that the high-profile cases have taught him “five lessons on how to handle a failed doping test”.

The high-profile doping cases he was referring to involved bodybuilding, weightlifting, wushu, badminton and cycling.

“Usually, football writers have these five points that they like to highlight about lessons learnt from high-profile competitions. I’ve decided to do the same,” said Kok Chi.

1. One should not ask for the B sample to be tested
“It’s a waste of time and money to test the B sample. The probability of the B sample being tested negative is minimal,” he said.

2. Request for hearing as soon as possible
“The affected party should request for a hearing as soon as possible. The later the hearing, the more time is wasted and the athlete is the loser.”

3. Trust the national and international bodies
The athletes should trust the International Federations (IFs) and National Sports Associations (NSAs).
“This is especially so if the athlete is a first-time offender and the drug is not a performance-enhancing substance like anabolic steroid. The athlete’s IFs and NSAs will always try to help the athlete ... and not destroy him or her,” he said.

4. Prepare for the case
“Fourthly, it’s important to prepare a truthful and simple explanation, one that is believable and with sound and reasonable mitigating factors.

5. Present a good case
“Lastly, one should present a good impression to the hearing panel, showing sincere remorse and plea for consideration. The duty of the panel is to find a solution and close the case as quickly as possible.”

Last year, eight Mr Malaysia bodybuilders were tested positive for a banned substance in June and were handed two-year bans.

Malaysia Games (Sukma) star Jelinie Empera, a weightlifter, was also banned for two years after testing positive for anabolic steroids.

Wushu exponent Tai Cheau Xuen – the first Malaysian gold medallist at the Incheon Asian Games in September – tested positive for the stimulant sibutramine while shuttler Lee Chong Wei was found with banned substance dexamethasone during the World Championships in Copenhagen last August.

Cheau Xuen was banned four months and Chong Wei eight months and had her gold medal stripped.
National track cyclist Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom was banned for 18 months for dexamethasone.

Asked if he fears that doping will rear its ugly head at the Singapore SEA Games next month, Kok Chi said: “I’m positive that there will not be any doping cases. I’m sure that the athletes have seen what all these athletes have gone through and they are aware of the consequences.”

by Rajes Paul - The Star

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