SINGAPORE — Former silat world champion Saiedah Said has been slapped with a two-year ban after testing positive for illegal substances Nor-Sibutramine and OH-Nor Sibutramine, an appetite suppressant used for weight loss, at the 38th National Pencak Silat Championships on April 14.
The 28-year-old firefighter — who won the Sportsgirl of the Year award in 2005 — won a gold medal in match Class E (65-70kg) at the National Championships, but tested positive for banned substances after an in-competition test conducted by Anti-Doping Singapore (ADS).
She was informed of a possible Anti-Doping rule violation on May 21 and had requested for her “B” sample to be analysed.
Following the confirmation of her “A” sample result, the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Committee (NADC), a tribunal body independent of ADS and the national sports associations, decided to impose a two-year ban. It means the veteran silat exponent will not be able to participate as athlete or support staff in any sport during this period.
She has also been disqualified from the National Championships, and all results, medals, points and prizes won at the event will be forfeited. The deadline for appeal to the National Anti-Doping Appeals Committee is June 17.
Said ADS Deputy Director Yeo Say Po: “Under the World Anti-Doping Code, the rule of strict liability states that it is ultimately the athlete’s sole responsibility to ensure that anything that they ingest does not contain any prohibited substance.
“This case is a reminder to all athletes to be always mindful of what they consume to avoid falling foul of any anti-doping rule violation.”
When contacted by TODAY, Singapore Silat Federation Chief Executive Officer Sheik Alauddin stressed it was a case of “accidental doping”. “We knew of this a few days ago, and spoke to Saiedah about it,” he said.
“She was sick before the National Championships and her mother went to Geylang or Johor Baru and got her some traditional medicine for her health. Her mother made a mistake.
“Saiedah has been with us for years and has competed at the SEA Games and world championships. The council is meeting tonight to deliberate ... we are going to appeal to ADS and SSC (Singapore Sports Council) and explain the matter and see how best we can help her.”
While silat athletes are known to lose or gain weight to compete in different weight classes, Sheik stressed that there was no need for Saiedah to consume appetite suppressants.
“She is at a comfortable weight of 68kg at the moment. Her usual weight class is C (55-60kg) and she fought in the E class (65-70kg) at the national championships, so there was no need for her to lose weight,” he said.
A two-time bronze medallist at the SEA Games, Saiedah’s two-year ban could deliver a blow to Singapore silat’s medal chances at the December Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.