Sun, 05 Sep 1999

Made Wahyuni denies accusation of using drug

JAKARTA (JP): National pencak silat (martial art) athlete Ni Made Wahyuni denied accusations that she used banned substances which caused her to fail a drug test conducted by Brunei Darussalam, the 1999 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games organizer.

Wahyuni said she only used an asthmatic medication when she felt breathing difficulties due to her asthma.

She said she was surprised that the medication caused her to fail the doping test and would likely cost her the gold medal.

"If the medicine had produced the result, then it's my fate. I did it unintentionally," Wahyuni told Antara in Denpasar, Bali.

She said she would receive the blame for her ignorance.

"I don't want anyone to receive the blame on my case, such as my coach, the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI), the officials of the National Sports Council (KONI) and especially the SEA Games contingent chief," she said, referring to Indonesia's chef de mission Moch. Hindarto.

Senior fighter Wahyuni, who plans to retire from the sport after the 2000 National Games (PON) in Surabaya, East Java, outclassed Nguyen Minh Le of Vietnam in the women's class E(65-70 kilograms) final in Bandar Seri Begawan in August.

KONI plans to send Cahyo Adi, a member of the SEA Games federation to defend Wahyuni in the executive meeting at Bandar Seri Begawan on Wednesday. Cahyo will also ask the organizer not to strip Wahyuni of her gold medal.

She said that it was the first time she failed the test after she collected five gold medals from her participation in the biennial event.

"When I took part in the SEA Games and world championship, I never thought of using a banned substance," she said.

She said that the scandal would not stop her from practicing martial arts. She pledged to defend the red and white flag in the 2001 SEA Games if the country asked her to.

Separately, IPSI secretary-general in Bali, Yudana, was also surprised about the test result. He said he was sure that the athlete would not take a banned substances to boost her performance.

"I know Wahyuni very well. She has a high dedication and discipline. She was made an example by her junior Bali fighters," he told the news agency.

Yudana said that after PON, Wahyuni planned to switch her career to coaching as she wanted to give opportunities to her juniors to develop.(ivy)