Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Athletes are still found to be careless when consuming sports supplements, which is often the cause of positive doping cases in Malaysia, says the Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia (Adamas).

Adamas director Azura Abidin said athletes found guilty of doping were often negligent or ignorant that the supplements they were taking contained illegal substances, despite ongoing awareness programmes.

The agency has since taken several approaches to tackle the issue, such as updating educational programmes where athletes are taught how to systematically identify banned substances in supplements.

“Adamas also conducts various forms of learning sessions by age group and category of athletes. For example, for young athletes ages 13 to 17, the Adamas education programme is more focused on instilling good values ​​and sporting integrity.

“With this systematic way of (substance) identification, it is hoped that athletes, especially the younger ones, will be more careful about what they consume,” she told Bernama.

Azura said this when asked about Adamas’ efforts to curb doping at a time when even Malaysia Games (Sukma) athletes are found using banned substances such as steroids.

She also admitted that Adamas did not have the authority to take action against the supplier of a product suspected of containing banned substances, which made it difficult for the agency to tackle the issue effectively.

“However, we are constantly working with the Ministry of Health (MOH), in particular, the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) to identify food supplements or medication that are unregistered or counterfeit which contain banned substances,” she said.

Meanwhile, Azura, who was appointed as the agency’s first woman director last November, said her personal goal was to ensure ‘zero doping cases’ in sports.

“At the same time, I will ensure that governance and policy matters are strengthened so that Adamas remains consistent with the World Anti-Doping Code issued by Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency),” she added. – Bernama