KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not return the Asian Games wushu gold medal won by Tai Cheau Xuen who later failed a doping test, a report said on Wednesday.
Tai, 22, tested positive for a banned stiumulant after winning Malaysia’s first gold in women’s wushu nanquan (long fist) the Games on September 20, the Olympic Council of Asia said.
She has since been expelled from the Games, but the Malaysian delegation has vowed to appeal insisting that Tai is innocent.
Malaysia’s head of mission Danyal Balagopal said that the test samples could have been switched. “Why do we need to give back the gold medal?” he told The Star newspaper.
Tai who has been stripped of her medal has returned to Malaysia, which has been shocked by the case.
The champion in the Chinese martial art was found to have taken sibutramine, according to the OCA.
Balagopal said that the team would appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport in regard to the procedures of the drugs tests. The court has set up a special unit at the Asian Games in Incheon to handle cases.
Danyal said it took about 16 hours to know the results of the urine sample.
“We usually know the result as soon as it is brought to the lab,” he was quoted as saying.
“On the day when the urine was taken from Tai, there were five samples placed together.
“There is a possibility that it was accidentally switched. Why do we need to give back the gold medal?” Danyal added.
Ramlan Aziz, National Sports Institute director-general said he sympatized with Tai.
“I am convinced Tai did nothing wrong. She strongly denied knowingly taking any illegal drugs or substances,” he said.
Tai’s father T.W. Tai, 55, said his daughter “will not consume performance enhancing drugs to boost her prospects of winning.”
A Tajik footballer, a Cambodian soft tennis player, a Syrian male karate compe-titor and an Iraqi weightlifter have also failed drug tests and been kicked out.