Ban on Thailand hosting global sports events lifted next month
The ban on Thailand hosting or flying its flag at international sporting events is set to be lifted in February, according to Thai authorities.
Last month, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) slapped Thailand with a one-year ban for failing to update its anti-doping law in line with WADA’s global guidelines. However, the country has now updated the relevant law and should be removed from the blacklist at WADA’s meeting next month, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Friday.
"Once Thailand has been removed from the blacklist, the country will be able to host sports events and use the national flag in international sports competitions," Thanakorn said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday asked the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) to inform WADA that the country published the newly amended 2012 Sports Doping Control Act in the Royal Gazette on December 31 in line with the agency's requirements.
Prayut also ordered Thai agencies to maintain regular contact with international agencies and keep regulations updated, as this issue affected the morale of athletes and citizens and the reputation of the economy and country.
"The government is ready to support Thai athletes in various sports competitions, especially the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam between May 12 and 23," Thanakorn added.
Four Thai athletes will next month be able to fly the flag at the Beijing Winter Olympics, which is exempted from the ban. Mark Chanloung and Karen Chanloung will represent Thailand in cross-country skiing while Nicola Zanon and Mida “Fah” Jaiman will compete in the slalom events.