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Burmese athletes lose gold after failing dope tests

Burmese body-builder Min Zaw Oo. (PHOTO: DVB TV)

Two Burmese athletes, who won gold medals at the 27th SEA Games hosted in Burma last year, will have to return the medals after it was revealed they used performance-enhancing drugs in the competition.

An official from the Myanmar National Sports Federation (MNSF) told DVB under condition of anonymity that Saw Malar New, a gold medal winner in the women’s 20km walk, and body-building champion Min Zaw Oo, tested positive for doping. The pair will be forced to return their medals and will each receive a two-year ban from their respective sports, he said.

Similarly, an athlete from Brunei also tested positive for doping, while one athlete each from Thailand and Malaysia were under investigation under suspicion of using prohibited drugs.

The MNSF is tipped to hold a press conference in the second week of June about the findings.

Burma, hosting the 27th SEA Games in December last year, won 86 golds, second only to Thailand which topped the medal tally with 107 gold medals. Vietnam came third with 73 golds.