Vietnamese authorities on Monday said they would not recognize the top title a local man just won at a beauty contest in Thailand that he entered without the state's permission.
Nguyen Van Son, a member of the national Taekwondo team, is also facing a fine of up to VND30 million (US$1,500) for competing at Mister Global 2015, said Le Minh Tuan, an official of the culture ministry.
In Vietnam, those who want to participate in a beauty contest abroad must have at least one national title before being selected by the ministry to represent the country.
Son, who has won 15 medals at national and regional Taekwondo tournaments, had not had any beauty title.
The unauthorized competitor claimed the highest prize at the beauty pageant in Thailand, which concluded on Saturday.
Nguyen Van Son (C) claims the top prize at the male beauty pageant Mister Global 2015.
Son, who is 1.93 meters tall, also won the title of “Internet popularity”, organizers announced.
Earlier, the 21-year-old athlete said the organizers sent him an invitation on the last day of the lunar year, when all Vietnamese offices were close. That was why he could not apply for permission, he said.
“We are so sorry about this. We are willing to pay the fine,” said his manager.
Over the past two years, nearly a dozen of Vietnamese women have entered beauty pageants without any official endorsements and then faced penalties soon after their homecomings.