5 Mar 2010

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Thai nation to the WBC President Dr Jose Sulaiman for the "great progress" made by the WBC MUAYTHAI in establishing Muaythai at the highest level around the world.

Dr Sulaiman told Mr Abhisit the WBC had established a Muaythai commission under Pol Gen Kovid Bhakdibhumi after a meeting with His Majesty the King.

"His Majesty wanted the great Muaythai boxers to attain the status of WBC Muaythai world champions and to compete at the highest level possible," Sulaiman said.

"The WBC under General Kovid has now put Muaythai onto the highest level in the world. We have established rankings in 19 weight divisions and the WBC green belt is awarded to world, international and national champions worldwide.

"Since the WBC took Muaythai under its umbrella everyone knows the difference between Muaythai and kickboxing."

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has promised to push for better medical and safety standards of all sports, particularly international boxing and Muaythai.

The prime minister told Dr Sulaiman at a meeting at parliament house in Bangkok that there needs to be a review of the medical procedures involved with boxing and Muaythai following concerns raised over safety standards for all those who participate in the sports.

Dr Sulaiman urged Abhisit to set up a national medical commission for boxing and Muaythai.

"This is my request for the safety of all Thai boxers - the international boxers and the Muaythai fighters - as I sincerely believe this warrants the highest priority," Dr Sulaiman told Mr Abhisit.

The medical commission proposed by Dr Sulaiman would be the sole national authority that would report on the physical and mental health of all boxers participating in any official contests.

Mr Abhisit said he supports a public inquiry being tasked with gathering all the relevant information on boxer safety procedures and he wants to see recommendations.

The prime minister also assured Dr Sulaiman that those who underwent drug rehabilitation programmes would be given work opportunities so they do not suffer relapses and fall back into drug addiction.

Several former world boxing champions have recovered from drug addiction through rehabilitation programmes.

"Drug addiction is the death of people. Rehabilitation brings these dead people back to life, but they will relapse if they don't get work and live with self esteem," said Dr Sulaiman.

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