Bodybuilder refuses to accept punishment

Unrepentant: Shaifulhaq Ahmad Ishak (above) had taken part in this year's Singapore National Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championships while serving a ban.

SINGAPORE - He has been slapped with a new two-year suspension for competing while serving a ban.

But bodybuilder Shaifulhaq Ahmad Ishak is not about to accept his new punishment.

Instead, the 32-year-old has decided he will no longer compete under any federation or national sports association (NSA).

He still, however, wants to continue competing as an "individual with a non-signatory organisation".

Last year, Shaifulhaq tested positive for drostanolone and methylhexaenamine at the Singapore National Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championships.

He and six other bodybuilders were banned from competition for two years.

But last month, The New Paper reported that the full-time fitness trainer took part in this year's edition of the same competition and won in the middleweight category.

His participation was investigated and a review panel from the Singapore Sports Council's (SSC) National Anti-Doping Advisory Board has recommended that Shaifulhaq's two-year period of ineligibility be restarted from June 29 - the date of his participation. His ban will now end on June 28, 2015.

But in an e-mail to ADS on July 17, Shaifulhaq said that he was a "victim of circumstances" and that he would not accept the new suspension term of two years.

He said: "Competitive bodybuilding is my passion and will always be. I will never give up competing, if not for my country then for myself as an individual with a non-signatory organisation.

"Therefore, I reserve my right to not accept this starting over date... as far as I am concerned, my ban has been lifted. I have made my decision to not compete any more under any federation or NSA."

Shaifulhaq can still compete in events not sanctioned or run by governing bodies - such as the "Best of the Best" annual competition in Jakarta, which is widely-advertised as a non-tested event, and Musclemania, which is tailored more towards entertainment than sport.

The review panel also found the Singapore Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (SBBF) guilty of breaching the agreement to adopt, abide and implement the Anti-Doping Singapore (ADS) rules by intentionally lifting the suspension to allow the athlete to compete.

Lifted

Rano Izhar Rahmat, president of the SBBF, told TNP last month that he had personally lifted Shaifulhaq's ban just before the competition - after counselling him for a period of three months on the side-effects of doping.

According to ADS, the SBBF chief has no jurisdiction to lift such a suspension.

Said Yeo Say Po, general manager of ADS: "In our commitment to keep sport doping-free, we cannot condone deliberate attempts of disrespect to the Anti-Doping rules."

She added that the SSC and the Singapore National Olympic Council have been informed of the "serious breach by SBBF", and expressed the hope that "appropriate action will be taken" against the federation.


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