HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah The President of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council deliver his sabda during the flag handing over ceremony yesterday.P icture:BT/Hj Md Ali
His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC), urged all athletes "to say no to doping".
A national athlete has been dropped from the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games contingent after testing positive by the Brunei Darussalam Anti-Doping Committee (BDADC).
HRH asked all athletes to remain vigilant and stressed the importance of keeping away from banned substances to avoid any punishments.
"I would like to advise all athletes to be alert and careful as not to eat and drink banned substances," said HRH in his sabda during the flag handing over ceremony at the Green room of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday.
"Taking banned substances to enhance performance is strongly prohibited. This will not only be unfair to the opponents but will also harm the health of the person.
"Punishment for any athlete found positive for doping is very severe and can destroy the sports career of the athlete.
"What disappointed me is that there is an athlete who would rather take the risk and succumb to the desire which is not beneficial to anyone.
"What is more disappointing is that this athlete has secretly competed in another regional competition recently despite orders by BDADC to not do so," added the Prince.
"This is against the discipline of the national selection and evaluation committee. Because of this action, the athlete has been dropped from the contingent and will suffer bigger consequences from the anti-doping agencies and the sport association.
"The BDNOC will report this matter to the International Olympic Council (IOC), Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and sports association as well as the anti-doping agencies.
"I hope that this will be a lesson and a reminder to all athletes to be smarter in making decisions to avoid anything that is non-beneficial.
"Protect your charisma and dignity, family and Brunei Darussalam. Compete in the right and healthy way and don't waste the sacrifices and training after all these years," continued HRH, who is also the president of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam.
Meanwhile, the dropped athlete pleaded innocent having not known that the supplements taken contained illegal substances.
"I've been looking for some good supplements after picking up an injury a few months ago. I managed to get some off Facebook and didn't know that they contained banned substances," said the athlete who declined to be named.
"There was no time to waste and I needed to recover quickly to prepare myself for the SEA Games. I was shocked that the results turned out positive.
"I'm very disappointed that this happened because the SEA Games is the main target for me this year. It has been a long time coming and now the chance is gone," concluded the athlete.