His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) expressed concern over the recent revelation of a national badminton athlete testing positive for a banned substance, an incident that has cast a shadow on the nation’s reputation and resulted in the withdrawal of all the team’s medals.
His Royal Highness delivered the sabda during the national flag-handing over ceremony to the Brunei contingent competing in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
His Royal Highness also empathised with the innocent teammates who are now facing consequences for a wrongdoing they were not involved in, stating, “It’s a pity that those who are not at fault are forced to receive punishment as the whole team.”
His Royal Highness emphasised that such a regrettable incident should never have occurred, given the rigorous anti-doping measures in place.
“To my understanding, all national athletes are consistently reminded by their respective associations and the Brunei Darussalam Anti-Doping Committee (BDADC) about the importance of anti-doping compliance,” His Royal Highness said.
Addressing the national athletes, His Royal Highness said, “You must be honest in declaring any medication you take. National athletes participating in any contingent sport are subject to random drug tests at any time, or they may be tested upon winning any competition medal.
“If an athlete is required to take medication due to illness, they must inform the authorities and specify the type of medication. Under no circumstances should you take medication if you are not sick, as doing so amounts to cheating yourself.”
In a cautionary note, His Royal Highness mentioned that excessive consumption of certain energy drinks could also lead to positive doping results, highlighting the need for widespread awareness among athletes.
His Royal Highness stressed, “Such information needs to be disseminated to all our athletes so that they are better informed about their responsibilities to avoid testing positive. I do not intend to scare you, but it is for the benefit of all athletes.”
His Royal Highness expressed his hope that all national athletes would undergo thorough out of-competition testing and receive continuous attention from relevant parties, particularly the BDADC.
His Royal Highness also emphasised the importance of ensuring that selected athletes representing the country were free from doping before being endorsed by BDNOC to compete in any contingent-based competitions.
Concluding the sabda, His Royal Highness delivered a clear and resounding message: “No Doping Please.”
His Royal Highness’ words serve as a powerful reminder of the nation’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of sportsmanship and integrity among its athletes on the global stage. – James Kon