Thailand

Thailand accelerates anti-doping decree to appease World Anti-Doping Agency

PHOTO: Flickr/Marco Verch

Officials have approved an executive decree to change Thailand’s anti-doping law in an effort to have a ban on hosting international tournaments lifted. Last month, the World Anti-Doping Agency ruled that Thailand was non-compliant with its 2021 code for failing to fully implement the organisation’s anti-doping code.

According to a Bangkok Post report, Thai athletes can still participate in international tournaments but are banned from flying the Thai flag at most events, with the exception of the Olympics and Paralympics. Now, officials hope an accelerated executive decree can fix that. Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam says amendments have taken the form of a draft executive decree, due to the time it would take to pass a bill into law.

Wissanu says Thailand has previously agreed with WADA that the issues leading to its non-compliant status would be fixed by the end of January. The Bangkok Post reports that Wissanu says any additional delays could indirectly cost the kingdom around 50 billion baht a year in lost business opportunities.

In order for the executive decree to come into effect, it now needs to receive royal and parliamentary approval. Once approved, the decree will allow the Sports Authority of Thailand to enter into talks with WADA in an attempt to have the ban lifted. Wissanu is optimistic, saying officials have worked closely with the anti-doping agency while drafting the decree. He believes the ban could even be lifted in time for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, scheduled to take place from March to April.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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