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Why is the National Sports Institute absolved of any blame? — RMR

This 'letter' appeared on Malay Mail Online yesterday. For the record, Malay Mail (newspaper) and Malay Mail Online are run by two different teams.

NOVEMBER 5 — Late last week Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz of the National Sports Institute (NSI) made a comment that for the failed drug tests that have occurred recently, “we should not blame the only the athletes only”. He said the coaches, managers and the association should also take the blame.

What he said is true, but he missed out one important entity. The NSI, the organisation of which he is the head. This is the organisation that is entrusted to scientifically prepare and take care of the athletes. The NSI was given millions ringgit worth of facilities prior to the 1998 commonwealth games in the hope of giving it and the Malaysian athletes a huge boost. Where does it stand now?

For a good majority of the past 16 years, he has been the head of NSI ... much longer than the outgoing NSC director. There has not been any major breakthrough in terms of novel new equipment being designed, no ground breaking study that has been published internationally, no books, no new training methods have been developed. The NSI to this day still does not have a capable lab of its own to handle blood work — a major resource for elite level athletes — from identifying possible illness to identifying performance threshold via lactate/glucose levels.

After all these years, even after they established ADAMAS (Anti Doping Agency), it certainly still does not have a lab to conduct basic drug testing. We are not talking about a WADA certified lab, but a facility to at least run a pre-tournament testing. Everyone that is going to represent our country should be tested, they just need to pee, it does not require blood. No test, no go. This will save the nation the embarrassment of finding out during an actual event. Which was the case at recent Asian Games and at the Badminton World Championship.

If pre-tournament testing is is the final step, education is the first. I was an assistant national coach for two years, never in that time did anyone came to approach us to conduct education sessions regarding doping — not once. Our athletes were never tested prior to going overseas. Who should be blamed for this? The associations that run on a shoe string budget, by volunteers or an organisation, fully funded by the government that was established specifically to look into the science aspects of sport?

I find it quite astonishing that the Sports Minister chose to remove the NSC head, for so called failures at the Asian and Commonwealth Games. But chose not to remove nor even criticise the NSI head for the high profile doping failures as well as the static state of sports science at the institute.

The wushu president took the high road by resigning after the Asian Games doping debacle. Leadership by example, even though I doubt that he had any hand in athlete preparation. What about those that are directly responsible for doping education and testing?


  1. should we comment further???? harris please follow up this chap

  2. yeah...and while you are at it...also follow up on the 'resignation' of the wushu president.

  3. I heard that the President is still on helm with the association.

    1. Hahaha...what a JOKE right? Leadership by example!! LOL....


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