Following the Asian Cycling Confederation’s approval of a proposed anti-doping committee at the ACC annual congress in January 2016, a Malaysian National Cycling Federation official has now been appointed to Chair the new body which is now faced with addressing fresh allegations of systemic doping in the Asia Tour.
Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia (ADAMAS) Chief Nishel Kumar with new ACC Anti-doping Chairman Dato’ Amarjit Singh Gill at the 2015 National Summit on Anti Doping in Kuala Lumpur.
Bernama, Malaysia’s national news agency, has reported that lawyer and sports administrator Dato’ Amarjit Singh Gill has been tasked with steering the ACC’s anti-doping efforts through its new Committee.
One of five vice-presidents at Malaysia’s National Cycling Federation (MNCF), Amarjit is also a qualified UCI International Commissaire and UCI Doping Control Officer according to his online resume.
Speaking with Bernama, Amarjit stated his appointment was “a major endorsement and recognition for the country,” given MNCF president Datuk Abu Samah Abd Wahab was responsible for first proposing the creation of an anti-doping body for the Confederation at the 2016 ACC congress.
Although fewer doping violations in the UCI Asia Tour have been discovered in recent years, accusations of continued and systemic doping have persisted – most frequently, aimed at teams and riders from Iran.Highlighting the urgency for Armajit to hit the ground running, it appears these suspicions may be well-founded. A slew of new doping infringements by Iranian cyclists look destined to make the UCI’s next Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV) list, according to comments by MNCF’s Abu Samah*.
“I hope Amarjit can convince Tabriz Petrochemical Team (TPT) to come clean of doping cases…during the recent Tour of Thailand in Udon Ratchathani, Thailand, a number of riders were sacked for doping issues,” said Abu Samah in the Bernama article.
Cycling iQ is seeking to independently verify the alleged Tour of Thailand infringements and has reached out to Dato’ Amarjit Singh Gill to learn more about the new Committee.
*After making contact with both the Thai Cycling Association and MNCF, it appears the Bernama reporter got it wrong.
“Thai Cycling Association, as the organiser of the race, did not get any kind of information about the violation of Doping Controls conducted by Thai’s National Doping Control Agency,” wrote Tour of Thailand Race Director Nuthapong Lohitnavy. “At this moment I can tell you (there was) no doping control offence or violation. The rider of TPT was disqualified from Tour of Thailand by the President of the Commissaire Panel because he was towing behind his team vehicle during the race.”
“The statement by me has been misunderstood and misconstrued by the (Bernama) journalist,” said MNCF President Datuk Haji Abu Samah Wahab. “There is no such positive cases during the latest Tour of Thailand. What I meant was that no doping cases will happen, as it has (last) happened a couple of years ago. I hope this clarifies the matter.”
I would not be surprised to see multiple doping infringements in Thailand. Especially in the non-sanctioned races.
I now have a statement from the Tour of Thailand race organizer Nuthapong Lohitnavy and am now waiting to hear back from MNCF’s president. Will be interesting to see if their information matches. Will update the article once I know more.