Indonesia new Para Games host pending Wada go-ahead
The Asean Para Games (APG) has found a savior in Indonesia to reboot its inactive program for nearly five years.
The board of governors of the Asean Para Sports Federation (APSF), the body that organizes the biennial APG, has thrown its support for Indonesia to salvage the hosting of the Games this year after being canceled twice since the 2019 edition.
However, he APSF blessing hinges on Indonesia’s ability to wriggle out of the sanction imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) on the country due to “nonconformity in implementing an effective testing program.’’
Together with Thailand and North Korea, Indonesia has been barred from hosting any regional, continental and world tournaments for their failure to fully comply with the 2021 Wada Anti-Doping Code.
“Two successive cancellations in Manila and Hanoi would be a very big blow to the development of para sports in the Southeast Asian region and greatly dampen the spirit of our Asean para athletes,’’ said Philippine Paralympic Committee president Michael Barredo.
“We’re glad that Indonesia offered to host the Games and is now working on the lifting of its suspension from the Wada,’’ added Barredo, a member of the APSF and vice president of the Asian Paralympic Committee.
Indonesia has proposed that the Games for the finest para athletes in the region be held in Solo on July 20-31, with 13 sports in the calendar after it was mothballed in 2019 in Manila and in Hanoi, Vietnam, last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kuala Lumpur hosted the last Asean Para Games back in 2017.
“These para athletes look forward to these Games as the first step in their pathway to the Paralympics,’’ said Barredo.
He likewise pointed out that Indonesia’s staging of the 11th APG would be crucial leading to the preparation for the 2022 Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, China, in October.
Six members of the APSF voted in favor of Indonesia’s hosting against one country which expressed dissent. Singapore and Brunei were absent while Indonesia was excluded from the voting process.
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