By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Thailand’s boxing silver medalist in the Athens Olympic Games, Worapoj Petchkhoon, will not see action in the Southeast Asian Games in Laos in December as he has been banned for three months as a punishment for modeling in a gay magazine.
There were reports that Worapoj appeared nearly naked in the Thai gay magazine STAGE which got the attention of the media as well as the Amateur Boxing Association of Thailand (ABAT).
ABAT president Gen. Taweep Jantararoj initially stated that national athletes were supposed to present a good image while Worapoj defended his actions claiming the images, including the one on the magazine cover, were “sporty” and not obscene.
In a press conference, General Taweep said the association had decided to ban Worapoj from the national boxing squad for three months, which will bar him from representing Thailand in the upcoming SEA Games in Laos at the end of this year. Taweep said Worapoj’s images in the gay magazine are not considered obscene, but still they have tarnished the reputation of the national athletes.