Malaysia has lodged a counter-protest with the technical delegate at the Tokyo Paralympics Games after the national shot put athlete Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli was disqualified over a technicality despite throwing a record-breaking distance.
Youth and Sports Minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu said the two other countries involved - Australia and Ecuador - have also lodged counter-protests with the technical delegate over this matter.
“The protest from Ukraine is still accepted. The counter-protest from three countries, Malaysia, Ecuador and Australia, will be brought to the chef-de-mission (CDM) meeting tomorrow morning.
“We will continue to defend! I ask the people of Malaysia to pray for us,” Faizal said in a posting on his Facebook today.
He said all CCTV evidence in the call room and outside the call room was included in Malaysia’s protest.
This comes after Ukrainian athlete Maksym Koval filed a protest after the shot put event was over that Ziyad was one of three shot putters who were late to the call room before the event started.
Koval was then awarded the gold for the event instead.
Former youth and sports ministers Khairy Jamaluddin and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman have both criticised the decision to disqualify Ziyad.
Khairy had described the decision as “shameful” and an “absolute disgrace that goes against the spirit of the Paralympics”.
“If it was a call room violation, you should have not allowed them to compete in the first place. Mean-spirited and petty.
“A stolen gold medal and world record,” Khairy had said in a Twitter posting.
Similarly, Saddiq also said it was a “disappointing” decision and questioned why Ziyad was allowed to participate in the event if he truly committed the alleged call room violation.
“This is unacceptable,” he said in a posting on Twitter as well.