KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — The National Sports Council (MSN) has been ordered to obtain an initial report on the withdrawal of the gold medal from national shot put champion Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said that he also ordered MSN together with the Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPM) to set up an investigation committee to look into the incident comprehensively.
He said the committee was also asked to provide a further action plan which must be taken on the official protest and appeal which had been done, apart from coming up with an approach to address the same incident if it recurs in future.
“I also wish to urge all quarters against pointing fingers at anyone in this matter.
“But most importantly, all quarters including IPC (International Paralympic Committee) and World Para Athletics (WPA) must look again at all regulations including those requiring wisdom in managing them,” he said in a statement today.
At the same time, he gave his assurance that Muhammad Ziyad would still be received as a hero with national pride upon his arrival at the KL International Airport (KLIA) on Friday.
Yesterday, the world sports arena was rocked by a shocking incident in Tokyo after Muhammad Ziyad was denied as the winner of the gold medal in the F20 men’s shot put event (intellectual disability) with a record throw of 17.94 metres (m) which was a new world record.
He was classified as Did Not Start (DNS) or did not start the competition following protests conducted against him by the Ukrainian team who claimed the shot put champion was late in reporting himself at the waiting room before the competition took place.
The controversy on the seventh day of the prestigious event saw Ukrainian athlete, Maksym Koval being announced as the winner of the gold medal with a throw of 17.34 m to simultaneously break the world record belonging to Muhammad Ziyad, at 17.29 m, which he created at the 2017 London World Para Athletics Championship.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Faizal said KBS viewed the incident seriously and regretted the procedure of the Organising Committee especially the WPA and IPC in considering the situation, and the actual circumstances, besides the aspiration and spirit in the organising of the Paralympics.
“We are disappointed because in our utter faithfulness in standing behind IPC to support the games which is conducted in a life-threatening condition to our athletes, a slight delay if it actually took place was not given appropriate consideration.
“What’s more, the athletes have waited for five years but their hopes and spirits were destroyed by a delay of not even five minutes. Not only to one athlete but three from three countries and this is something which is very sad,” he added. — Bernama