| Hakim Hayat |
National athletes have been warned to stay away from banned substances.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, during a ceremony which saw the hand-over of the Brunei Darussalam flag to the national Asian Games contingent at Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium yesterday, also urged athletes to verify with the Sports Medicine and Research Centre before consuming any substance.
The minister added that there would be dire consequences should any athlete be found guilty of consuming banned substances.
“Not only would they be disqualified from competing and be suspended, it would also tarnish the image of our country,” he added.
The minister said Brunei’s participation in the quadrennial event shows its commitment to improving the quality of sports and advocating the “Sports for Peace and Development” policy.
He urged all the athletes to “grab the golden opportunity” by giving their best.
“Athletes must display high sporting discipline and spirit to excel and improve their individual best,” he added.
He also said success at the Games was not impossible, citing the nation’s feat in 1994, 1998 and 2002.
In 1994, Brunei earned two bronze medals through karate, while in 1998, the country earned a bronze medal through sepak takraw.
In 2002, Brunei grabbed a bronze medal in karate.
Director of Youth and Sports, Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Mohammad, urged the athletes to remain focused.
“This is the commitment that should be borne and fulfilled by the athletes – to make our country proud,” he added.
The ceremony saw the official hand-over of the Brunei Darussalam flag to the national contingent, which leaves today.
Eleven athletes will compete in four sporting events – sepak takraw, taekwondo, karate and fencing – at the upcoming 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.
Also present was Choi Byung-Koo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Korea to Brunei.
Chef-de-Mission Dyg Mariam binti Ulat, who received the national flag, will be accompanied by two secretariat officers, four coaches and a doctor.