MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) denied that their members were taking performance enhancing drugs like steroids amid reported allegations by an official of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
“Hindi ho totoo yun [That’s not true],” said Amina Amudin, a female paddler on allegations attributed by reports to board member Colonel Jeff Tamayo.
Head coach Nestor Ilagan said in Filipino that these drugs were “too expensive” and that they “couldn’t afford it”.
Tamayo was quoted as alleging that members of the PDBF were taking steroids that was why they were fast and strong.
He also called the team “ampaw” (full of hot-air). The POC and the Philippine Sports Commission both refused to recognize the PDBF as the country’s national team for dragon boat racing.
Ruperto Sbijon, a member of the PDBF men’s team, said that organizers of international competitions conducted random drug tests called “doping” after the competition.
Those who will be found positive for drug use will be asked to return their medals and awards, Sbijon said.
Team captain Uzman Anteriola added that the members underwent rigorous training, which included running, endurance, and strength workouts before any competition.
The PDBF recently won five gold and two silver medals in the 10th International Dragon Boat Federation World Championship held in Tampa, Florida. The team won against bigger opponents from Russia, Germany, Canada, Hungary, the United States, Italy and Australia.
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