Thai weightlifters will not be allowed to compete in the 2019 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, next month.
The Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association (TAWA) had confirmed a voluntary removal of participation in March earlier this year, after nine Thai athletes, including two reigning Olympic champions were suspended for positive drug tests since November.
The self-suspension has also raised concerns over the country’s involvement in the 2020 Tokyo Games. TAWA had previously announced ‘in order to keep in existence our high honour and proud dignity Thai athletes would not compete internationally until the situation unfolded'. They would not take part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games or any of its qualifying competitions - of which the World Championships is the most important one.
However, a change of mind was publicized when TAWA said it wanted athletes who had not tested positive to have a chance at qualifying and competing in the Olympics. The IWF responded with a rejection stating “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 2019 IWF World Championships will take place in Pattaya, Thailand throughout 18-27 September.