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Athletes Chopped, Malaysia and S. Korea Simmer
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One athlete was disqualified from the Asian Games for importing drugs while another got the chop from karate on a turbulent Tuesday at the Asian Games.

Officials were also fielding angry complaints as both Malaysia and South Korea fumed at perceived injustices.

On the field of play China added to their nation's mammoth medal haul, led by Olympic champion and world record-holder Liu Xiang who strolled to gold in the 110m hurdles in an Asian Games record time of 13.15 seconds.

"I am now in excellent condition," said Liu.

By the end of day 11 of competition China had amassed 137 gold medals from the 345 on offer. With three days competition remaining, they are chasing the 150 they won in Pusan at the last Games.

South Korea are in second place in the standings with 47 golds, one more than third-placed Japan.

Bodybuilder Saeaz Faeaz was disqualified from the Games after 134 ampoules of the banned muscle-building steroid nandrolone were found in Iraqi luggage at Doha airport.

After the December 4 find and a probe into the case, organisers staged a hearing with the athlete having established the luggage had been his.

"During the hearing he (Faeaz) admitted that this bag and all 134 ampoules belonged to him. That he brought it inside the country," director general of the Olympic Council of Asia Husain Al Musallam told reporters.


The 32-year-old from Baghdad became the fifth competitor to be disqualified from the 15th Games for a drugs-related offence, but the first to be sanctioned for a non-analytical anti-doping violation.

Four weightlifters had earlier been disqualified for failing drug tests.

Iraq's soccer team soon restored smiles to the Iraqi camp, however, with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over the fancied South Korean team to reach Friday's final.

They will play Qatar in Friday's final after the hosts romped to a riveting 2-0 win over Iran.

The adage that if you are good enough you are old enough clearly did not apply in the case of 13-year-old schoolgirl Haya Samir Jumaa.

The teenager from the United Arab Emirates was disqualified from the women's individual kata when her age was spotted, despite having already competed in two contests.

Doha 2006 karate contest rules, set by the Asian Karate Federation, state competitors must be aged 16 or over.

"It happens all the time," karate competition manager Mohammad Al Rumihi said.

The OCA, however, was furious.


"The decision of the Asian Karate Federation to disqualify the athlete after completing two matches is totally unacceptable," Al Musallam said. "In the Asian Games, we don't have age limits."

Seething Malaysian hockey officials accused Japan, Hong Kong and Pakistan of fixing results of matches after their team was eliminated, while South Korea's handball squad raged at refereeing.

The Malaysians said they would lodge an official protest against the three teams whom they claim fixed the outcome of the men's group A matches.

Five-times champions South Korea branded the Asian Games handball competition an "embarrassment" to the sport after their controversial loss to Qatar in the semi-finals on Monday.

The Koreans were forced to play shorthanded for most of the night after the game's two Kuwaiti referees hit them with a string of penalties.

Korea had already lodged a formal protest concerning "biased refereeing" in their loss to Kuwait on Saturday, state news agency Yonhap reported. The two referees from that match were from Qatar.

"I have been playing this game for 20 years and have never seen anything like it," said Yoon Kyung-shin, who was world player of the year in 2001. "It makes an embarrassment of handball. It was like child's play at times."

(China Daily via Reuters December 13, 2006)

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