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Coronavirus Olympics

World body bans Thai weightlifters from Tokyo Olympics

Jack Burton



World body bans Thai weightlifters from Tokyo Olympics | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Jakarta Post
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Thai and Malaysian weightlifters will be barred from the Tokyo Olympic Games, whenever they’re held, over their high numbers of doping cases. The sport’s governing body, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said in a statement that the two countries’ lifters can’t compete at the Tokyo Games, regardless of the change of date.

Previously there had been some hope in Thailand that its lifters might get a chance to compete in a rescheduled Olympics if the local federation could clean up its act.

The 2020 Olympics have been postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, and are currently scheduled to be held from July 23 to Aug 8, 2021.

The Thai and Malaysian federations can appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days.

The IWF also imposed a 6.6 million baht fine on the Thailand Amateur Weightlifting Federation (TAWA), which has already voluntarily banned itself from all weightlifting, including the Tokyo Games, because of its recent doping record.

8 Thai lifters, including 2 reigning Olympic champions, tested positive for banned substances at last year’s World Championships. They were caught when the IWF carried out extra tests in Germany, on samples taken last November from “target athletes” and using “the most sophisticated techniques available” at the World Championships in Turkmenistan.

Thailand was also involved in a doping scandal in 2011 when 7 teenage girls were banned after testing positive, 2 of whom are among the 6 new cases.

The IWF suspended TAWA’s membership status for three years, saying the sanction would be reviewed on or after March 2022 if “Tawa can demonstrate it has met pre-defined criteria”.

The Malaysian Weightlifting Federation has been suspended for a year. The the IWF says sanction will be reviewed and may be lifted as early as Oct 1.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is a writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. He attended the Henry Grady School of Journalism and his works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world.

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Coronavirus Olympics

2020 Tokyo Olympics put on hold for a year

Jack Burton



2020 Tokyo Olympics put on hold for a year | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Not cancelled... postponed - New York Post

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are to be delayed by one year due to concerns over the world Covid 19 coronavirus pandemic. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe made the announcement yesterday, telling reporters he has won the backing for the proposal to delay the games, originally scheduled to start in July, in a call with IOC president Thomas Bach.

“The Tokyo Olympics will not be cancelled.”

The postponement is the first since the modern games began in the 19th century, and makes the Tokyo 2020 Olympics the biggest sporting event called off due to the pandemic to date. The virus has caused more than 18000 deaths worldwide, led to a plunge in global markets and slammed the brakes on international travel.

The last time an Olympics was cancelled was in 1944 due to World War II. The games have never been delayed by as long as a year under the auspices of the IOC, which was established in 1894. The 1940 games were initially postponed, but then cancelled.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and special Olympics were headed toward postponement this week as national teams said they’d pull out if the games went on as scheduled. Japanese PM Abe acknowledged a delay would be unavoidable. He told the Japanese parliament Monday that the Olympics would have to be postponed if safety couldn’t be guaranteed for spectators and athletes due to the pandemic.

The coronavirus has made it all but impossible for aspiring Olympians to train and, in many cases, qualify for a July event. After Australian PM Scott Morrison said the international travel ban currently in place would extend to the country’s Olympic delegation, the national team told its athletes to begin training for 2021. But a 2021 games has its own list of headaches, including many sponsorship agreements set to expire in 2020 and a conflict with the global track-and-field championships.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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