MAAU irked by pregnant athletea��s pull-out

KUALA LUMPUR: A 16- week pregnant athlete faces sanction from Malaysian sports authorities for pulling out of Decembera��s Southeast Asian Games, local media reported yesterday.

China-born Yuan Yufang, a multiple gold medallist in the 20km walk at the regional games, had disappointed officials concerned at the loss of a genuine medal chance, The Star newspaper said on its website (thestar.com.my).

a�?She should have informed us earlier so that we could prepare another walker to replace her in the Games,a�? the paper quoted Karim Ibrahim, deputy president of the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union, as saying.

a�?Now it is too late to look for a replacement. We will have a council meeting in Ipoh on Nov 20 to determine what action to take against her.

a�?We are disappointed with her as we will lose a sure gold medal in the womena��s 20km walk in the biennial Games.a�? The 33-year-old Yuan had previously won gold at the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur after giving birth to a baby boy, the paper said.

The SEA Games will be held in Laos from Dec 9-18. a�� Reuters

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