MANILA, Philippines – Indonesia and Thailand will not be allowed to carry their respective flags in the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games next year for being non-compliant of the anti-doping rules by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino, however, said the Indonesian and Thai athletes could still compete in the biennial event similar to what happened to the Russians, who carried the International Olympic Committee (IOC) flag when they competed in the Tokyo Olympics last August.
“I think they (Thailand and Indonesia) can still play but cannot carry flag. Like Russia in Tokyo Olympics, and they have a pending appeal,” Tolentino told The STAR Wednesday.
Thailand and Indonesia, along with North Korea, were declared non-compliant by WADA, making them ineligible to host regional, continental or world championships for a year.
It resulted to the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Bangkok and Chonburi, Thailand, where the Philippines is scheduled to participate, being postponed from next year to 2023.
There were reports that host Hanoi is inclined towards staging the 11-nation meet from around the second to third week of May.
Tolentino, however, said everything would be finalized during their SEA Games Federation meeting Monday.