Following the demise of national archer Haziq Kamaruddin on the second day of Aidilfitri, social media users speculated that the 27-year-old Olympian's sudden death was due to the COVID-19 vaccine
Haziq was one of the over 200 athletes and officials involved in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics who were given their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on 13 April, according to the Youth and Sports Ministry.
Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican was also given the jab on the same day.
Rubbishing the speculation as irresponsible, Reezal asked people to not spread fake news.
"I and 242 other athletes, including Haziq, had taken the vaccine together," read a Facebook reply from him yesterday, 14 May, in which he urged people to respect the family of the deceased.
The Minister has also asked that the Ministry of Health (MOH) should be given space to carry out a post-mortem with MOH making a follow-up announcement about the case.
Earlier today, 15 May, MOH released a brief statement to say that Haziq's death was investigated under the Sudden Death Report (SDR)
Following which, autopsy orders were issued to determine the cause of death.
According to MOH, swab tests carried out on Haziq came back negative for COVID-19.
A post-mortem process showed that his death was due to complications of blocked cardiac blood vessels as a result of changes in atherosclerosis (coronary artery atherosclerosis), the Ministry said.
MOH added that while further investigations are underway, there is no evidence that the death was directly related to the COVID-19 vaccine
The 27-year-old recurve archer, who represented Malaysia at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics, had collapsed after performing the Subuh prayer at his house in Kajang yesterday morning
Haziq was preparing for the upcoming final Olympic qualifier taking place in Paris in June.