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High jumper slapped with two-year doping ban but can appeal

KUALA LUMPUR: High jumper Ngu Jia Xin has been handed a two-year ban from all competitions by the Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia (Adamas) for testing positive with sibutramine at last year's Malaysian Track and Field Championships.

Adamas confirmed this in a statement released today but did not reveal the name of the athlete.

Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF), however, confirmed that is was referring to Jia Xin, who is from Perak.

Adamas said they came to the decision after concluding a hearing process with Jia Xin.

"After receiving the charge notice, the athlete made a written request for a hearing with the Adamas hearing panel," said Adamas.

"The athlete was provisionally suspended from all competitions until the result of the hearing process was announced.

"In line with the Adamas Anti-Doping Rules 2021 and World Anti-Doping Code 2021, the Adamas panel has ruled that the athlete had violated the Adamas Anti-Doping Rules 2021.

"The athlete is banned from any sports (event or competition) participation for a period of two years beginning from June 2, 2023 to June 1, 2025 (11.59pm).

"The athlete can appeal to Adamas against the result (of hearing) in writing by Jan 24."

Meanwhile, MAF medical committee chairman Datuk R. Annamalai said: "Jia Xin has the right to appeal the ban and can do so within two weeks".

Adamas stressed that athletes are subject to the Principle of Strict Liability and are responsible for whatever substances are in their body when doping control tests are conducted. Ignorance cannot be used as an excuse.

Sibutramine, which has been categorised as an S.6 stimulant, is an appetite suppressant which was previously used in weight loss supplements but has been banned in Malaysia since 2013 due to the dangerous side effects which it can cause.

While it does not enhance athletic performance, the drug can be useful for athletes competing in sports which utilise weight categories.

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