There was an outcry of protest when Paralympic shot putter Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli was stripped off his gold medal and world record in the F20 class final, following complaints of him being 3 minutes late to the call room. Subsequently, Maksym Koval was then awarded the gold medal.
Since then, Maksym Koval has been subjected to social media abuse. The 24-year-old shared that not only was his first account hacked after being attacked by Malaysians, but his second account also got banned.
It is disappointing to see so many online trolls hurling insults that go below the belt. Besides accusing Maksym Koval of stealing Malaysia’s gold medal, netizens even called him “bodo cacat”, “clown”, “brainless”, “kepala lancau”, “botak babi”, and even went as far as to attack his family.
Craig Spence, spokesperson for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), said: “There has been a massive outpouring of emotions from many Malaysians on social media. It’s been very abusive and ridiculous in my opinion. Yes, you can be unhappy with our decision, but I am seeing comments on all our social media accounts which are nothing to do with the men’s shot put F20 event.”
While we do feel that Ziyad was unjustly robbed, cyberbullying shouldn’t be the answer.