MAF settles overdue money owed to sprinter Russel

On the go… Russel Taib is relieved the problem of delayed payment has ended.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF) has paid the RM20,000 owed to Brisbane-based national 200m sprinter Russel Taib for training expenses.

MAF deputy president Mumtaz Jaafar said the money was released after Russel submitted the relevant documents and his training expenditure. She said MAF was in the process of making payments to several athletes whose record-breaking rewards were in arrears.

Russel said he was glad the 15-month controversy over the payment has ended, and thanked FMT for helping to resolve the delayed payment that was first highlighted on June 23.

Team Russel Taib adviser Russell Thompson said they hoped for improved relations with MAF going forward.

The issue arose when Russel was only paid RM1,000 after breaking the national 200m record although he received a mock cheque for RM21,000 from then MAF president Karim Ibrahim at an official dinner in March last year.

The money was part of US$25,000 allocated by the International Association of Athletics Federations for athletics development.

Russel with Mumtaz Jaafar last year at a dinner where he was presented with a mock cheque for RM20,000.

Russel spent more than RM100,000 since he began training for Malaysia in 2015, first in Tasmania and now in Brisbane.

He broke the 200m record at the Queensland Track Classic in Brisbane last year when he clocked 20.77 to erase Khairul Jantan’s mark of 20.90s set at the 2017 Malaysian Open.

Russel, 22, has also been recruited by the National Sports Council for the 2020 Podium Programme, for which he will receive RM2,000 in a monthly allowance until the year-end.