'I never provided banned substances'

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KUALA LUMPUR: Bulgarian sports medicine doctor Gueorgui Ananiev Baldjiysky denied providing local athletes with banned substances and was disappointed that several coaches and athletes have turned their backs against him.

Baldjiysky was alleged to have conspired with Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) deputy--president Karim Ibrahim (pic) in providing national relay runner Yunus Lasaleh illegal pills and injections.

Yunus, who tested positive for banned substances after winning the 4x400m SEA Games gold medal last November, had implicated Karim and Baldjiysky to have supplied him with the substances during their training camp in Miri in September.

The allegations were supported by 42 national athletes and 16 coaches in a memorandum handed to MAF president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim demanding Karim's removal from office.

"I have never given any athlete banned substances, not only in Malaysia but throughout my entire practice as a sports medicine doctor," said Baldjiysky in his letter in response to a legal letter by Karim's lawyer, A. Mahendran.

"I'm very sad that some of the coaches and athletes, whom I had extended my services and financial aid to, have abused me with such deplorable allegations."

In his letter, Mahendran had requested Baldjiysky's presence in Malaysia to testify in an inquiry on the matter, and had also listed the allegations stacked against the duo.

In his response letter, signed by Baldjiysky and validated by a notary public of the District Court of Sofia, he admitted to treating Yunus, several other athletes and even the coaches.

The letter stated Baldjiysky was asked by then chief coach Harun Rasheed and several athletes to visit Malaysia and attend to them for their SEA Games preparations.

Baldjiysky had met Harun in Sliven, Bulgaria, in May 2011 while they were preparing for the World University Games in China and the World Championship in South Korea.

Baldjiysky also said he had only met Karim during his Miri visit and that Yunus was introduced to him by K. Jayabalan, another national coach.

"The track in Miri was very hard. After training, Yunus complained of some overuse symptoms such as interior legs and tendon pains. I gave him strict medical treatment just like the other athletes," he said.

However, the Bulgarian's letter raised suspicion as to why he was ever so willing to help national athletes, as he was not financed by MAF nor the National Sports Council (NSC).

"Malaysian athletes do not appreciate my contribution. I don't wish to come to Malaysia at this juncture but if the inquiry was to be held in Bulgaria, I will give evidence to clear my name here."

An independent inquiry panel headed by former Court of Appeal judge Tan Sri V.C. George began probing the matter last week and was supposed to have concluded last Thursday, but inconsistencies in the statements forced the inquiry to be suspended until July 5.

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