Tue, 14 Nov 2000

PBSI to call Taufik's coach on statement

JAKARTA (JP): The Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) clarification team will call Taufik Hidayat's coach, Mulyo Handoyo, to attend a hearing on Wednesday due to Taufik's statements two weeks ago.

"The reason for calling the coach is because he is not only responsible for the athlete's physical fitness and technical skills but also for the mentality and morale in the athlete's off-court life," said PBSI secretary general, Leo Chandra Wiranata, who is also a member of the team, on Monday.

A source in the association said that some officials were targeting Mulyo due to his broken marriage.

"People are asking if it is appropriate for him, with a broken marriage, to teach his athletes life's values as champions," the source said.

PBSI set a clarification team last week following controversial statements made by Taufik after winning the Asian Badminton Championships here.

The 19-year-old shuttler criticized PBSI for the late payment of the sponsorship contract with Yonex and tournament prize money. He also complained about life in the Indonesian Badminton Center dormitory, which has been neglected by PBSI.

Taufik also criticized PBSI officials for not being able to maintain discipline among top players.

He also complained about the lack of personal attention from PBSI chairman, Subagyo Hadisiwoyo, and in the end urged the latter to step down from his post.

Leo said that the hearing was staged to listen to Taufik's explanation of his statements.

"It really depends on Taufik to answer our questions Wednesday. He made the statements. We want to know what he wants from the officials. If he really doesn't need us, what does he expect. We also want to know if he can work things out without our help. For instance, can he access his prize money without the help of the treasurer?"

Leo was open to the possibility of calling other players on the matter.

"We just want to gather as much information as we need. But we don't want to create conflict among the players on this matter."

"The team doesn't have the authority to give punishment to Taufik. We will only give our recommendations to PBSI chairman before he decides on the punishment."

Leo said according to PBSI regulation, the association had four options of punishment to Taufik.

"We can warn him verbally or officially in writing. If that is not considered enough, we can ban him from training and competition. If necessary, we can expel him from the center."

On Friday, the team's chairman, Karsono, assured the press that Taufik would not be expelled from the center as "he is a valuable asset to the nation and the association."

Taufik told The Jakarta Post that he has already complained about the situation to Subagyo and other officials in a gathering.

"But there has never been any change in our lives. However, I will accept all decisions made by PBSI. If they want to punish me, then so be it."

"I am sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings by my comments but it's the truth and everybody knows it." (yan)