Six Thai weightlifters tested positive for banned substances at the World Championships in November 2018, including doping cases against three women who won world titles (Photo: esperanceexpress.com.au)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Thailand has voluntarily banned its weightlifters from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and all other international competitions because of its recent doping scandal but will still host the 2019 World Championships, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said on March 8.

The self-imposed ban also means Thailand will still organise the world championships in Pattaya in September without the participation of Thai competitors.

The decision came after six Thai weightlifters tested positive for banned substances at the World Championships in November 2018, including doping cases against three women who won world titles.

Among the eight lifters facing bans are Sopita Tanasan and Sukanya Srisurat, who won Thailand's two weightlifting gold medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Thailand is a traditional power in weightlifting, especially in the lighter classes, and the IWF said the cases have potential consequences that seriously damage the integrity of the sport.

Dozens of weightlifters who competed at the last three Olympics have later tested positive. Russia and China were among nine countries banned from international competitions for a year in 2017 after racking up numerous doping cases.

Russia and Bulgaria also missed the 2016 Olympics over doping, and countries with major drug problems will have fewer qualifying place for next year's games in Tokyo.-VNA