Tuesday September 25, 2012
Zolkples: Athletics needs closure on allegations against Karim
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Zolkples Embong (pic) wants the findings of the inquiry into former Malaysian Athletic Union (MAU) deputy president Datuk Karim Ibrahim’s alleged involvement in two doping scandals to be made public as soon as possible.
While welcoming the change in the leadership of the MAU, Zolkples said it was imperative that the new council be allowed to make a clean start without the baggage of the past administration.
“But how can the report be made public if newly-elected MAU president Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad and his council don’t have a copy?” he asked.
“How are we going to know whether Karim is innocent or the guilty?”
The report is with former president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, who lost to Negri Sembilan AA president Zainal by two votes in the elections.
Karim was also ousted, losing to Terengganu AA president Datuk Wan Hisyam Wan Salleh by six votes.
The inquiry panel, headed by retired judge Tan Sri V.C. George, was set up to investigate the charges against Karim.
The committee handed copies of the findings to Shahidan, Karim and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar last Thursday.
Shahidan refused to disclose the contents, saying he wanted the council to have a look at it first.
He also said the MAU lawyers had to study the report before making it public. Zolkples said he hoped Shahidan would hand over the report to the newly-elected exco.
“I hope he does, otherwise we won’t know what the findings were,” said Zolkples, adding that the change in the MAU leadership was a step in the right direction to save the sport.
“Datuk Zainal is a good and knowledgeable leader and we will do our best to help MAU get back on track,” he said.
“We will assist them anyway we can to return athletics to its glory days.”
Zolkples said Datuk Shahidan’s target of winning nine gold medals at next year’s SEA Games in Myanmar was unrealistic given the circumstances.
“Athletics has been in the doldrums and it will take some time and effort to turn things around,” he said.
“We hope that with intensive training and exposure, the national athletes will be able to do better than the last SEA Games in Palembang.”
Malaysia won six gold medals in Palembang but the men’s 4x400m relay team were stripped of the gold after Mohd Yunus Lasaleh tested positive for a banned substance.