The whole nation is shocked following news that world number one shuttler Lee Chong Wei failed his B sample urine test.
Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin explained during the press conference that Dexamethasone, traces of which were found in Lee Chong Wei’s urine sample is not a performance enhancing drug and is allowed for out-of-competition period.
Khairy’s argument that Dexamethhasone is not a performance enhancing drug and is allowed for out of competition is irrelevant and untenable. The fact remains that traces of Dexamethasone were found in Lee Chong Wei’s urine sample during competition period – which is against the law.
As a professional, Lee Chong Wei’s focus should be on the sport and not on the food intake and drugs prescribed. The National Sports Institute(NSI) must be fully responsible for Lee Chong Wei’s medical treatment. The reason given that National Sports Institute(NSI) referred Lee Chong Wei to a private clinic for injury treatment due to the lack of expertise is appalling.
In budget 2014, the government allocated RM239 million to pursue excellence in sports. With such a huge allocation, Khairy must explain why NSI could not afford a specialist to attend to Lee Chong Wei’s injury? The fact that NSI referred Lee Chong Wei to a private clinic should not exclude them from the chain of responsibility. NSI has the duty to ensure our athletes are free from any banned drug substance especially during tournament period.
Former Badminton world champion Han Jian of China has launched a crushing criticism on the National Sports Council(NSC) and the Badminton Association of Malaysia(BAM). In an interview with Chinapress, he was quoted saying the following,
“In the past, the National Sports Council and the Badminton Association of Malaysia did not pay attention to doping and did not take the issue seriously.”
“Moreover, in Malaysia’s sports history, such things (doping) rarely happen and they were caught off guard.”
“Malaysia did not put in enough effort into the whole (doping) system from educating to counseling athletes on the regulation. Doping is a very serious problem in sport. I have retired for 30 years. I can recall 30 years ago, when I was an athlete, China already has a very strict doping system.”
“From my personal observation, Malaysia’s approach towards doping is unprofessional and unsound; it looks more like a state of “guerilla warfare” against doping.”
Khairy must immediately explain why after 17 months in office as the sports minister, Malaysia is still in a state of “guerilla warfare” against doping. What efforts has Khairy done for the past 17 months to improve Malaysia’s doping system?
I urge all Malaysians to stand firmly behind our world number one national shuttler Lee Chong Wei during this tough period. Let us offer our unconditional support to Lee Chong Wei for the glory days and sacrifices made. Lee Chong Wei is clearly a victim of incompetence of the National Sports Institute(NSI) and National Sports Council(NSC), both under the purview of youth and sports ministry.
The NSI and NSC have both failed miserably to protect our national athletes and provide them with the necessary medical treatment. Lee Chong Wei represents Malaysia’s best chance to win an Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016. With this blunder, Malaysia’s hope to secure the first ever Olympic gold medal looks distant. Someone must be fully responsible and accountable for the doping-gate blunder. Heads must roll.
Khairy as the Youth and Sports minister who commands authority over both NSI and NSC must own up the mistake and resign immediately for his failure to build a professional and sound doping system.
Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Economic Development Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 10 Nov 2014