Show me the money? Show them your medals first!

khairy

PETALING JAYA: A poor showing in the next two international events — the Asian and Commonwealth Games — may lead to cuts in sports funding, warned Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

In an interview with NST published today, he said: “After the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, it crossed my mind that had we done poorly in Rio, we might not have got a large allocation for the Sea Games.”

In last year’s Rio Olympics, Malaysia won four silver medals and one bronze, the country’s greatest haul in the Olympics to date. Malaysia also won a record seven medals in the Paralympics, two silvers and five bronze.

Khairy said: “If we had come back without any medals, the prime minister would not have been in the mood to give a large allocation for the SEA Games. So I think success would breed more investments so we must continue to succeed.”

He picked out the next two international showings as critical.

“For 2018, it will be important for us to prove that our athletes are able to reach targets at the Asian and Commonwealth Games. If not, I won’t be surprised if our allocation is reduced,” he said.

In the interview, Khairy also reflected on his biggest concern in 2016, which was doping.

“I gave a stern warning to our SEA Games athletes that there should be no doping cases in 2017,” he said, adding he was saddened by cases of doping during the Malaysia Games, involving young athletes.

Khairy said he would strengthen the National Doping Agency (Adamas) and will work to ensure that the agency becomes a statutory body with its own powers to act.

“I hope to get the greenlight from the government to make Adamas a priority so that the doping issue can be solved structurally”.

Last year, it was reported that four athletes who won medals in the Sarawak Malaysia Games (Sukma 2016) in July, tested positive for banned substances.

The four included a weightlifter, a boxer and two archers who competed in under-21 competitions.