(ATR) The International Weightlifting Federation says Thailand will withdraw from all 2020 Olympic weightlifting and qualification, because of a number of doping violations.
Thailand will also withdraw from the 2019 World Championships, but will still host the event.
The IWF said in a statement that Thailand voluntarily withdrew from all Olympic events because of "multiple [adverse analytical findings] and their potential consequences that seriously damage the integrity of the sport".
Weightlifting has been cracking down on countries with multiple doping violations after the IOC threatened to remove the sport from the Olympic program. In 2017 nine countries, including China and Russia, served one year bans from weightlifting competitions for repeated doping violations.
Eight Thai weightlifters failed doping tests at the 2018 World Championships in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The country specializes in producing top weightlifters in lightweight categories, especially in women’s events.
In Ashgabat, Thailand finished second in the overall medal table.
As part of the agreement, Pattaya, Thailand will not be stripped of hosting rights for the 2019 World Championships.
"[Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association will] still continues to fulfill its obligation and will deliver the organization of the 2019 IWF World Championships despite the fact that no Thai athletes will be entitled to participate," the IWF said in a statement following its last executive board meeting.
The IWF said it implemented a new strategic plan for 2020-24 in the executive board meeting, and "set the task of outlining the concept of Refugee athlete" ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Written by Aaron Bauer
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