Duong Duc Thuy, former head coach of Vietnam’s athletics, said the two Vietnamese athletes who tested positive for doping at SEA Games 31 could have used the drugs by mistake.
“I was surprised to hear this news, especially when it happened to two gold and silver medalists at SEA Games.
“We have the most hard-working athletes in both long and short distances. For many years, Vietnamese athletics have been dominating in Southeast Asia and they don’t need doping to win medals,” Thuy told VnExpress.
The former coach does not believe the athletes used doping on purpose to improve their performance.
“There’s a slim chance that Vietnamese athletes used doping intentionally. They knew for sure from the beginning that if they win gold, they would be tested for doping and they are not fools to get themselves into that situation.
“I think it’s very likely that they did it accidentally, such as by using medicines when they are sick. In antibiotics, there are many components that can relate to doping. If you don’t pay attention, you can even get doped when using supplements,” he said.
Thuy, 61, was also a former athlete. He competed in the men’s triple jump at the 1980 Olympics. He said that Vietnamese athletes lack knowledge of how to use drugs.
“According to the regulations, before and during the tournament, athletes have to strictly follow instructions provided by the medical team. If they want to use any medicine or supplement, it has to be approved by the medical staff. But in Vietnam, many athletes often buy and use antibiotics when they are sick without consulting anyone.
“Vietnamese athletes don’t have the knowledge for doping. Banned substances are rarely circulated in Vietnam and even if you give them to athletes, they wouldn’t know how to use them,” Thuy said.
Last week, test results showed that two Vietnamese athletes were positive for doping. According to a source of VnExpress, it is likely that these two won a gold and a silver medal in athletics. Further testing will be done and if the results continue to return positive, they will be stripped of their medals and face a long-term ban. The image of Vietnamese sports will also be affected.
Vietnamese sports officials have not disclosed the identity of the athletes.
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