Vietnamese weightlifter Thạch Kim Tuấn. Tuấn is one of seven Vietnamese athletes who will face heightened doping controls. Photo zing.vn
HÀ NỘI The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has said it will ramp up supervision for seven Vietnamese athletes, making them subject to random testing.
Vietnamese lifters Trịnh Văn Vinh and Nguyễn Thị Phương Thanh were caught doping after a surprise inspection in 2018 and were both banned for four years. The IWF has increased the level of supervision for Vietnamese athletes before and after participating in regional, continental and world tournaments.
Included among the seven Vietnamese weightlifters are key athletes Thạch Kim Tuấn, Vương Thị Huyền, Ngô Sơn Đỉnh and Nguyễn Tú Tùng.
According to the IWF, this is a necessary part of the global anti-doping campaign, and weightlifting is a very high risk sport for doping.
In fact, around 312 top weightlifters across the world can be tested unexpectedly before tournaments for both blood and urine samples.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IWF said competition would only restart in the next few months.
The IWF recently decided to ban Thai weightlifters from the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 31 in 2021 after many athletes were found involved in doping in the SEA Games 30 in the Philippines last year.
Thailand is banned from international weightlifting competitions for three years and Malaysia is banned for one year, meaning both will be unable to compete in the SEA Games 31 hosted by Việt Nam in 2021.
Due to the effects of the pandemic, the Việt Nam weightlifting team's plan to attend Asian and World qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics has been changed, but the team are still training at the National Sports Training Centres in Hà Nội and HCM City.
According to Đỗ Đình Kháng, deputy director of Elite Sports Department of National Sports Administration, after international competitions are allowed to resume, Vietnamese weightlifting will focus on three weight classes to earn tickets to the Olympics including men’s 61kg with Tuấn, female’s 49kg with Huyền and female’s 59kg with Hoàng Thị Duyên.
Later January at the World Weightlifting Cup in Italy, Tuấn won three gold medals, Duyên took three gold medals and Huyền bagged two bronze medals.
According to IWF regulations, each country can have a maximum of four male and four female athletes in weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympics. VNS