Malaysian, Thai lifters out of Tokyo Olympics
Filipino lifters can gain from the ban that the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has slapped on regional rivals bound for the Tokyo Olympics.
The IWF announced on Sunday that lifters from Thailand and Malaysia will not see action in Tokyo next year due to the high number of doping cases last year at the World Championships in Turkmenistan.
But while Filipinos stand to benefit from the absence of Thai lifters in the Summer Games, Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella has expressed sympathy for the weightlifting federations of both countries.
“Everyone else [will benefit], not only us. Thailand got two golds in the last  Rio Olympics. IWF has been very strict since then,’’ Puentevella said.
“We also sympathize with Malaysia. They’ve been progressing with their program the last few years and now this,’’ added the former chair of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Eight Thai lifters, along with two reigning Olympic champions, tested positive for banned substances at last year’s World Championships.
The Thais were caught when the IWF took samples from target athletes at the worlds last November and carried out the extra tests in Cologne, Germany.
The IWF has suspended the Thailand Amateur Weightlifting Federation for three years while the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation was canned for one year.
The Thailand and Malaysian federations can file an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days. INQ
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