Council denies receiving aid request from national cyclist

Azizulhasni Awang

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Terengganu Sports Council has denied having received an application for aid from national cyclist Azizulhasni Awang prior to his bronze medal victory in the ongoing Rio Olympics in Brazil.

Its director, Ibni Amin Busu, said he had neither received any letter from Azizulhasni nor knew about the application.

“I have not seen such a letter. Let me get more information on the matter,” he told reporters after Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman handed out incentives to Terengganu athletes who had excelled at the recent Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Sarawak.

Ibni Amin was asked about Azizulhasni’s claim that the state government had disregarded a request by him and fellow cyclist Fatehah Mustafa for road bikes to prepare for the Rio Olympics.

Azizulhasni made the allegation on Facebook soon after winning the bronze medal in the keirin event in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.

Ahmad Razif, in his response yesterday, instructed the Terengganu Sports Council to investigate the allegation.

Ibni Amin said the state government presented a RM5,000 incentive to Azizulhasni that the sportsman’s mother accepted on behalf of her son for having represented Malaysia in the cycling event at the Rio Olympics.

In Dungun, Azizulhasni’s father Awang Muda Embong advised his son to resolve the matter amicably, saying the cyclist should call on Ahmad Razif.

Awang Muda, 67, said he was shocked by his son’s allegation and hoped it would be resolved at their meeting.

“I am not aware of what happened. I only learned about it from other people. However, I hope it will be resolved amicably soon,” he told Bernama.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin reportedly said that there could have been a misunderstanding. He said Azizulhasni had the full backing of the ministry and the Sime Darby Foundation.

On another matter, Ibni Amin said the Terengganu Sports Council had signed a memorandum of understanding with Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin to enable the state’s athletes to pursue studies at the tertiary institution.

UniSZA would also provide special assistance to Terengganu athletes, in such fields as physiotherapy, nutrition and so on, he added.