The presence of walker Yuan Yu Fang in Vientiane, despite being dropped by the Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) from the SEA Games athletics squad, was a major talking point in Laos.
Yu Fang, 33, who was initially expected to contribute a gold medal from the 20km walk event, was dropped by the MAAU after she had claimed that she was pregnant.
Even National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong confirmed that the walker had withdrawn from the Laos SEA Games after complaining of stomach pain.
"Yu Fang met me and claimed she was pregnant and NSC accepted her reason," he said.
Meanwhile, MAAU deputy president Karim Ibrahim who arrived here on Thursday with the athletics team, said he does not know why Yu Fang was in Laos.
"She was initially a gold medal prospect but when she claimed that she was pregnant, we dropped her from the list," said Karim.
However, Karim said based on the accreditation that Yu Fang was wearing, it was possible that she came to Laos with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).
"Although she came in the same flight with us, I did not want to know why or how she arrived in Laos because my job is to take care of the athletics who are competing here," he said. -Bernama.