Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Shalin and Sarah get three-month ban

21/12/05- The Malay Mail
P._S._Nathan_1524.jpg MTBC (Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress) president Dr P.S. Nathan speaks to Mailsport's Tony Mariadass on allegations of misconduct during the Women's World Championship in Denmark. 
Appointed disciplinary board met to discuss reports by national coaches Chris Batson and Bill Rowe as well as team manager, Sidney Tung, on allegations of misconduct by bowlers Shalin Zulkifli and Sarah Yap during the Women's World Championship in Denmark.
Apparently, a decision was taken by the committee, which was eventually endorsed by the MTBC Council, but no news was forthcoming from the national association, because their constitution did not allow them to reveal disciplinary decisions to the media.
However, there has been speculation that Shalin and Sarah were banned for three months and it is learnt the Asian Bowling Federation (ABF) and their member association have been informed of it.
MTBC, on the other hand, have applied to the Sports Commissioner's Office for the constitution to be amended, which included incorporating the clause to reveal decision to the media.

MTBC president Datuk Dr P.S. Nathan was approached by Mailsport on the status of their constitution and Shalin and Sarah. This is what he has to say ...

Mailsport: Datuk, it has been more than a month since the appointed disciplinary board met, and were said to have taken a decision. But yet, there has been no statement from Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC)?
Dr. Nathan: We were not at liberty to reveal anything on the outcome of the proceedings because the constitution barred us from doing so.

Mailsport: But this is a sports organization and all sports associations in the country announce whatever decisions taken, be they disciplinary or council decisions to the media.
Dr. Nathan: Though we are aware of that, we were merely complying with the international sports bodies' rules. We have since amended the constitution which has been duly approved by the Sports Commissioner's Office.

Mailsport: Thus, MTBC can now finally reveal the decisions taken against Shalin Zulkifli and Sarah Yap?
Dr. Nathan: Yes, we can. The committee, after studying the case carefully and interviewing the bowlers concerned and the officials, decided they had violated their contract with the MTBC and National Sports Council (NSC) and thus have decided to ban them for three months, with effect from Nov 1.

Mailsport: What were the factors taken into consideration for the ban to be imposed?
Dr. Nathan: From our findings, it was clear the duo had violated the code of conduct where they had behaved in such a manner where they thought they were bigger than the sport and the association. Their refusal to heed the coaches' instructions was a clear violation of not adhering to the latter's judgments. If Shalin and Sarah were unhappy or disagreed with anything, they could have had discussed it with the coaches (Chris Batson and Bill Rowe). Besides, this is not the first time such an incident had happened and we had to put our foot down once and for all to ensure no prim donnas existed.

Mailsport: What is the consequence of the ban?
Dr. Nathan: The two have been dropped from the elite squad and lose all benefits, including their monthly allowance of RM2,500. They also cannot bowl in any MTBC-sanctioned tournaments. However, once the ban expires end of next month, the bowlers will be eligible to fight for a place in the squad where they will have to go through the selection process. If they do not meet the mark or their form drops, they will be replaced. And if they make it back into the squad, they have to sign contracts with MTBC and NSC again. The current contract is without doubt even more stringent.

Mailsport: Now that the matter has been cleared, how do MTBC see the whole episode?
Dr. Nathan: We are not here to punish anyone or make it difficult for others. But like in every other sport, discipline is a key factor and we will not compromise on it. No bowler can hold us to ransom. We are here to serve the sport, and all the bowlers must abide by the rules and procedures. We are among the eight core sports and naturally, we want everything to go smoothly. Not only are we concentrating on developing the sport further, we also want to continue producing results in the international arena. We hope all the bowlers realize this by continuing to work hard at the game. In the meantime, we will do our utmost to provide them with the best in terms of financial and technical assistance, coaching, equipment, facilities, international exposure, competitions and a sound administration.

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