Malaysian athletes have been hit with hefty fines following alleged misbehaviour at the Asian Games ©Getty Images

Malaysian athletes have been fiercely criticised by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) after the body received heavy fines for damage caused at both the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Asian Games in Incheon.

The team received a RM143,000 (£25,000/$40,000/€35,200) bill following misbehaviour in Incheon, the highest such bill the OCM has ever received after a major Games.

It followed a smaller RM3,640 (£650/$1,000/€900) fine in Glasgow.

They have been warned of dire consequences if similar behavour occurs at next month's South East Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore.

“The discipline among our athletes is getting from bad to worse, I believe that there is an urgent need to check this, otherwise it’ll escalate,” OCM secretary general Sieh Kok Chi told the Malaysian Star.

“Smoking was again the major issue, damage to property was the other.

“In some cases, the damage was minimal, but the host made a big issue and wanted us to pay for the whole thing.

"So we had no choice but to pay up.”

Sepak takraw was one sport from which Malaysian athletes incurred heavy fines at the Asian Games ©AFP/Getty Images
Sepak takraw was one sport from which Malaysian athletes incurred heavy fines at the Asian Games ©AFP/Getty Images

Sepak takraw was the sport most at fault, responsible for over 50 per cent of the total amount, while bowling, sailing and rugby sevens were other sports in which athletes incurred fines.

The sports involved will themselves be responsible for covering the costs, Chi confirmed.

“The OCM board have already been briefed about the fines and they’ve decided that the sports concerned will have to fork out the payment,” he added.

“The OCM cannot afford to pay this kind of money.

"We’ve sent letters to the associations on the matter.”

Malaysia's Chef de Mission in Incheon, Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, was more sympathetic, claiming some of the complaints were "petty" and that the extent of the damage had been exaggerated.

Despite the fine, he does not believe indiscipline in Incheon was a "big issue".

But the Asian nation's Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was more critical, calling for stern action taken against those caught smoking. 

“I’m unhappy with the athletes’ behaviour," he told the Malaysia Star.

"It’s not right and I agree with the OCM views on getting the athletes to pay the fines,

“We’ve always told the athletes not to smoke, but I think the message has to be loud and clear.

"I think we should impose fines and be more selective of the athletes competing in future Games.”

Malaysia had finished in 14th position on the medals table in Incheon, with five golds, 14 silvers and 14 bronzes, to follow 12th place at Glasgow 2014, where they won six golds in a 19 medal haul.

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