Thu, 10 Jul 2003

Action over teams sabotage urged

INDRAMAYU, West Java: Top sports officials in Bandung and Cirebon have voiced concern over the potentially grim prospects of the West Java contingent at the upcoming National Games (PON), if firm action, to prevent athletes from illegally switching teams, is not taken.

"We hope that the West Java sports council imposes strict sanctions and impedes those involved in the illegal buying of athletes. If they do not, team outcomes at the next PON may be unfairly influenced," Herry Mei Oloan, from Bandung, said on the eve of the West Java Sports Games, which concluded in Indramayu at the weekend.

Herry mentioned track and field athlete, Rachel, who was enticed to move from Bandung to Ciamis prior to the games and won four gold medals for her new team, Ciamis.

"We try hard to train the athletes only to end up with them affiliated with another team at the games," Dedy Supardi, from Cirebon, said.

The Indramayu sporting meet -- which also served as the qualifying event for the 2004 PON, to be held in Palembang -- included teams from 23 regencies and municipalities in the West Java province. --JP