His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC), during yesterday's meeting of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports' national selection and evaluation committee. BT/Md Asdeny Yakub
His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC), has called for more emphasis to be placed on creating awareness of the risks and the consequences of doping in sports.
Two national athletes were involved in doping cases this year, and HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah said that educating the sports fraternity by making public a list of prohibited substances should be something relevant parties should look into - as well as random doping tests.
In addition, any athlete found guilty of doping while representing the country at international tournaments would be immediately sent back to Brunei and be liable for all costs involved in participating at the event.
"I want the athletes to realise and be aware of the risks and the consequences that they will be facing if they are guilty of taking performance enhancements," said HRH in his sabda during a meeting of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports' national selection and evaluation committee yesterday.
"I appreciate the efforts made by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in giving awareness talks and workshops lately following the recent two doping cases that involved our athletes.
"However, we still need to find a way to instill responsibility in the athletes so as to protect the good name of the country and at the same time (make the athletes) aware of the consequences of doping.
"I would like to suggest to the Brunei Darussalam Anti Doping Committee (BDADC) and the Sports Science and Research Centre (SMRC) to release and give the prohibited list of substances to all the athletes, sports associations and coaches.
"The list of the prohibited substances must also be made in a poster to be put on the walls of sports venues, gymnasiums, stadiums and national sports association's offices, as this step can act as a constant reminder and one way to instill the awareness and the risk of doping," he added at the meeting held at the Conference Room of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
On the ministry's national selection and evaluation committee that decides which sports and athletes can represent the country at international tournaments, the president said that BDNOC will only select and endorse athletes who are free from doping.
"We only want athletes who are clean," he insisted.
"I also think that random doping tests from time to time are a very good effort. BDNOC will be involved in financing and funding some of the tests, and these tests will be conducted at certain times before the date of the "entry by name" of particular sport events.
"I would also like the requirements for national athlete's involvement in a contingent to be tightened, and this must be understood by all the athletes before leaving the country.
"Those who are found positive of doping while representing the country will need to immediately return to the country and must pay back all costs of participating in the event, including the flight tickets, accommodation, clothes, living allowances and others.
"I believe that this is the only way for us to instil responsibility in athletes and at the same time competing healthily, with (the spirit of) "fair play" and respecting each other," he added.
The meeting was centred on the Sultanate's participation at the this year's Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and 4th Asian Beach Games.