KUALA LUMPUR: The public, especially netizens, are asked to refrain from giving any comments on the issue surrounding Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli at the recent Tokyo Paralympics.
Powerlifting technical delegate at the Games Kamaruzaman Kadir said he was worried that if left unchecked, the situation could affect the 31-year-old athlete’s emotions.
“There is no doubt that it is fun to comment here and there on this hot issue but it can have a negative impact on Muhammad Ziyad.
“Stop bothering him. Have a pity on him and wait until the investigation into the issue is completed,” he told Bernama.
On Aug 31, Muhammad Ziyad was denied the gold medal in the men’s shot put F20 with a recorded throw of 17.94m, which was also a new world record.
He was classified as “Did Not Start (DNS)” following a protest by the Ukrainian team who claimed that Muhammad Ziyad was late in reporting to the waiting room before the event took place.
The controversy on the seventh day of the prestigious event saw Ukrainian athlete Maksym Koval being announced as the gold medal winner with a 17.34m throw.
He also simultaneously broke the record held by Muhammad Ziyad, namely, 17.29m which the latter had set at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London.
On Sept 3, the Youth and Sports Ministry agreed to launch an internal investigation into the cancellation of Muhammad Ziyad’s participation and victory at the prestigious Games.
According to Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, the committee would be under the supervision of the National Sports Council with the involvement of independent members.
Kamaruzaman, who is Malaysian Body Building Federation (MBBF) honorary secretary also urged the public not to raise the issue of the RM1 million reward, which he described as too sensitive to be discussed.
“They are sensitive, so respect their feelings and their family’s feelings,” he added.
He opined that the Malaysian contingent should learn from the mistakes and hoped that they would not happen again in the future. – Bernama