Inside the Games covered a story about four Thailand weightlifters that tested positive for banned substances after the 2018 WWC. The positive tests could compromise the ability of Thailand to host the 2019 World Championships scheduled for this year in Pattaya.
Currently, six athletes from Thailand failed anti-doping tests at the 2018 IWF World Championships, including Sopita Tanasan (48kg) and Sukanya Srisurat (58kg). Both are Olympic Champions.
IWF’s latest anti-doping policy states that nations producing three or more positive tests during a calendar year will face suspensions from the International competition of up to four years. Moreover, Thailand may be imposed a $200,000 fine for six positive tests.
The IWF first announced public disclosures for the first two athletes from Thailand who tested positive for anabolic agents from the 2019 WC on the 23rd of December.
- Teerapat Chomchuen (55kg, DNP)
- Duanganksnorn Chaidee (87kg+, Bronze Medal)
From the IWF statement: “Despite testing about 52% of all participating athletes at the 2018 IWF World Championships, no AAFs [Adverse Analytic Findings] were initially recorded. But further analysis in collaboration with the IWF’s Athlete Passport Management Unit, the Cologne anti-doping laboratory, saw further analysis carried out on target athletes’ samples using the most sophisticated available technique”
The list of athletes included in the latest positive testing:
- Thunya Sukcharoen (45kg, Gold Medal)
- Chitchanok Pulsabsakul (87kg+, 6th place)
- Sopita Tanasan (49kg, 4th place) 2016 Olympic Champion
- Sukanya Srisurat (55kg, Gold Medal) 2016 Olympic Champion
The IWF penalty for first-time offenders was a loss of results and a suspension from competition for four years. In 2011, Pulsabsakul and Srisurat have received sanctions and are banned for eight years from the sport now.
IWF published new Olympic Qualification System and their new guidelines for countries that had shown positive athlete tests between 2008 and 2020 in April 2018. According to their report, any nation having 10-19 violations in 2008-2020 will be limited to four athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Thailand currently has 15 positive tests, including seven in 2011. In case of reaching 20, the country will be limited to one male and one female athlete maximum. Weightlifting governing bodies have not confirmed it yet, but six recent positive tests can make Thailand Weightlifting Federation (TAWA) lose their right to host the 2019 World Championships, as well as the chance to have athletes to compete in the 2010 Olympic Games in Tokyo.