Drug-hit Hosts Thailand Fail To Lift Ban For Weightlifting Worlds
Bangkok, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Aug, 2019 ) :Thai weightlifters will not be allowed to compete at the world championships despite the country hosting the event, the sport's global body confirmed Wednesday, dashing hopes of a late reprieve after a doping scandal.
Nine Thais including two reigning Olympic champions were suspended after positive drug tests since November, prompting Thailand to voluntarily ban itself from the September championships in Pattaya as well as next year's Olympics.
Last month the Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association (TAWA) changed tact, saying lifters who did not fail tests should be allowed to compete and have a shot at the Tokyo Games, while athletes and coaches were told to get ready.
But the International Weightlifting Federation has slammed the door shut after telling AFP that "no Thai athletes will be entitled to participate" in Pattaya.
"The IWF Executive Board will not be reviewing TAWA's decision at its meeting in September and therefore TAWA's self-suspension and the suspension of Thai athletes from competing in weightlifting events will remain in place." The Thai association was not immediately available for comment on the IWF statement, which deepens the crisis enveloping Thailand's most successful Olympic sport.
Intarat Yodbangtoey, the honorary president of the Thai weightlifting association, last month told AFP he wanted to lift the blanket ban because the source of the problem had been discovered.
"I hope that executive board members will allow us to join and participate," he said at the time.
The Thai athletes who tested positive were provisionally suspended and are awaiting a decision on their cases, which are being handled by the International Testing Agency.