INCHEON: Malaysia will not return the Asian Games gold won by Tai Cheau Xuen although she has been tested positive for taking banned drugs.
Chef de mission Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah said they would submit an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which is based in Switzerland, regarding the procedures of the drugs tests.
Danyal questioned why it took so long - close to 16 hours - to know the result of the urine sample.
"We usually know the result as soon as it is brought to the lab," he said.
"On the day when the urine was taken from Tai, there were five samples placed together.
"There is a possibility that it was accidentally switched. Why do we need to give back the gold medal?
"We will appeal to the CAS. In fact, after the competition, Tai waited for nearly two hours to give her urine sample.
"I can't elaborate more on the procedures as it involves legal issues.
"I will discuss with the National Sports Institute (NSI) and submit the appeal to CAS."
Danyal said he sympathised with Tai's predicament.
"It is unfortunate. I am convinced Tai did nothing wrong. (NSI director general) Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz and I questioned her a few times when we received the results of the A sample.
"She strongly denied knowingly taking any illegal drugs or substances," added Danyal.
Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar was also shocked.
"This news comes as a big shock to me ... I didn't expect our athlete to be implicated in a doping offence in the Asiad," said Tunku Imran, who left for home yesterday after spending a few days watching the Games.
"Athletes should know better on doping. The rules are strict and you are bound to be caught in major competitions like the Asian Games," added Tunku Imran, who is also the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).