KUALA LUMPUR: Weightlifters who have failed doping tests should not be given a second chance. They should be blacklisted and banned from the sport instead.
Former national weightlifter, Samah Ali feels that this is the best way to curb the doping menace which has tarnished Malaysia’s image.
Malaysian weightlifting is again in the spotlight for the wrong reason after a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist was said to have failed a doping test by the Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia.
This case is the latest after the controversies involving 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Mohd Hafifi Mansor, Khairul Anuar Mohamad, Constantine Clement, Mohd Nasir Roslan and 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Amirul Hamizan Ibrahim.
Samah said the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF) and their affiliates must deal with the issue seriously after several athletes were found to have consumed banned substances during international events.
“We shouldn’t give them a second chance as they have used these banned substances to achieve victory, which is unacceptable.
“Not only does it shame the athlete involved or the sport but it also tarnishes the country’s name.
“To me, it’s okay if an athlete loses without using any drugs rather than win with the help of banned substances,” he said.
Samah, who won gold medals at the 1977 and 1979 Asia Weightlifting Championships and 1979 Sea Games, said the current punishment on dope cheats is not enough.
According to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules, any athletes caught using banned substances can be suspended for up to four-years.
“To me, this is not enough. They are guilty and should not be given another chance to participate in the sport.”
“The national association should have regulations banning these athletes from any competitions organised by them. This is to ensure they are no longer selected to represent either their state or country,” said Samah.