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Ban is likely if policy is not followed

Nuku’alofa – September 10, 2019: 7am (Nuku’alofa Times): Local athletes who do not take drug tests face the possibility of missing out of the 2020 Olympic Games and lifetime bans.

Tonga Sports Association and National Olympic Committee (TASANOC), Secretary General, Takitoa Taumoepeau, made the comments after he returned from Suva last week.

Takittoa med with the  Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) and the Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organization (ORADO) last week.

The meeting was a follow up on activities and programs in which Tonga, as a member (in partnership with Ministry of Internal Affairs & Sports (MIA) in continuation of drug testing of medal winners from the Pacific Games in Samoa during the “out of competition” window.

The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, through her regional office, the Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organization, ORADO, requires to know the “Whereabouts” of those athletes.

“Therefore, it is vitally important for all sports administrators and respective National Federations (NF’s) to complete and comply with this requirement,” he said.

“The severity of the penalty could result in disqualification of the athlete from taking part in next year Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“And Takitoa if the athlete has Code violation 3 or more strikes, he could be banned from qualification for Tokyo 2020 as well as other additional penalty depending on the final findings by a panel who looks at each individual case.

“My message is clear to sports administrators and NF’s, “Do not take this lightly or else your athlete will not only “miss out” from Tokyo 2020, but may result in a “ban” as well”,” Takitoa added.

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