Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cheau Xuen may face two-year ban at most

PETALING JAYA: Wushu exponent Tai Cheau Xuen, who tested positive for sibutramine at the recent Incheon Asian Games, should consider herself lucky as she will only be out of competition for two years – at the most.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will only enforce a four-year ban on athletes caught for doping offences for the first time from January next year.

Athletes who currently test positive are handed two-year bans but coach Yoong Thoong Foong said they are still awaiting further instruction from the International Wushu Federation (IWUF).

“We are waiting for IWUF and the Wushu Federation of Asia to rule on Cheau Xuen’s case. Only then will we discuss with the National Sports Council (NSC) regarding her position in the elite squad,” said Thoong Foong, who is hoping that the 23-year-old will be patient and not quit the sport.

“It will be a waste of her talent if she stops. She is a very committed athlete and I think she deserves another chance.

“Cheau Xuen has never failed to contribute medals in all the major championships we’ve taken part in since she made the senior team in 2007, so I believe she is still an asset.”

The Negri Sembilan exponent was stripped of the gold medal she won in women’s nanquan and nandao all-round competition on the first day of competition after testing positive for the weight-loss drug sibutramine.

Cheau Xuen, the gold medallist at the Myanmar SEA Games last year, is the first Malaysian medallist to be caught for doping in Asian Games history.

Malaysia’s loss turned out to be Indonesia’s gain. Juwita Nisa Wasni was promoted from silver to gold while China’s Wei Hong took the silver. Indonesia also got the bronze through Ivana Ardelia Irmanto.

by Lim Teik Huat - The Star

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