Friday October 12, 2012
Six-year ban for Karim
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian Athletic Federation (MAF) deputy president Datuk Karim Ibrahim (pic) has been suspended for six years after being found guilty of two doping incidents.
This is the first time in the history of the MAF that an office bearer has been suspended.
Newly-elected MAF president Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad, who chaired his first council meeting at the MAF office in Bukit Jalil yesterday, said they discussed the inquiry committee’s findings and the council unanimously found Karim guilty of both doping cases.
“The findings had enough proof of his involvement in both cases and we thank the independent panel for their findings,” he said.
Karim’s suspension is effective immediately and he cannot hold any positions at national or state levels.
“The suspension is based on the MAF’s constitution. He also cannot appeal against the suspension as the council’s decision is final.
“The case is officially closed,” said Zainal.
All the 21 council members who attended the meeting agreed with the suspension, except for Malacca AA secretary P. Rengam, who was against it.
Karim failed to retain his deputy president’s post in the annual general meeting (AGM) on Sept 23, losing 19-25 to Terengganu AA president Datuk Wan Hisyam Wan Salleh.
Karim will also vacate his post as vice-president of the Malacca AA and as council member of the Asian Athletic Association (AAA).
Karim could be further punished by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) once MAF send the report to them.
The inquiry committee, headed by retired judge Tan Sri V.C. George, was set up to investigate Karim’s alleged involvement in two doping scandals.
Relay runner Mohd Yunus Lasaleh tested positive for methandienone, a drug commonly used as an aid for muscle growth, in the Indonesia SEA Games last November.
Yunus, from Sabah, alleged that it was Karim who had told him to take the pills and injections given by a Bulgarian doctor while he was training in Miri last September. Karim had, allegedly, told him that they were vitamin supplements.
Besides Yunus, the other members of the 4x400m relay team that won the gold in the SEA Games were P. Yuvaraaj, Schzuan Ahmad Rosely and S. Kannathasan.
They were subsequently stripped of the medal.
In the second case, former national chief coach Harun Rasheed had alleged that Karim was the one who told six national sprinters not to give their urine samples when requested by the National Sports Institute (NSI) on May 24 last year.
The sprinters who skipped the dope test were Siti Fatima, Siti Zubaidah Adabi, Yee Yi Ling, Nurul Sarah Kadir, Norjannah Hafiszah Jamaludin and Noor Imran Hadi.
Zainal said they decided to act fast on Karim’s case as “we want to clean up the image of MAF in the eyes of the public”.
“We will now focus our attention on athletes and coaches to lift the standard of athletics in the country,” said Zainal.
The 71-year-old Zainal also named the various sub-committees after the council meeting.
Zainal will head the coaching and development committee while Wan Hisyam is the chairman of finance and selections.
The other sub-committee chairmen are K. Yogesvaran (competitions), Datuk R. Annamalai (medical), S. Chinetamby (technical), S. Vegiyathuman (walking), Tan Boon Seng (statistics), Datuk Paduka Mumtaz Begum Jaafar (women’s affairs and welfare) and Datuk Paiman Abdul Karim (discipline).