All doping tests done at the youth Muaythai championships came back negative, a result welcomed by the IFMA Medical Committee. The IFMA message has always been clean Muaythai and winning with honour but in the past a lack of understanding especially around diuretics like Furosemide may have led to mistakes.
Head of the medical committee Dr Erdogan Aydin said clean tests should be celebrated as a sign the message is getting through even at the youngest levels. But he warned IFMA will continue testing and punishing cheats.
He says: “We did 30 tests this year in Bangkok. Thanks to the awareness IFMA has created we have no positives at all. We are so happy about it, but would never want to leave it without control, this is something we will always monitor.”
He explains in the past some young athletes associated doping with taking strong drugs and did not understand diuretics are also against the rules. In fact for weight-category sports like Muaythai, taking diuretics is very serious.
Dr Erdogan singled out the diuretic “Furosemide ” as a WADA-prohibited substance. He noted a small number of Muaythai athletes have mis-used this substance and suffered the consequences.
He says: “Should we blame the athletes for it? No, they are juniors- young people and when we investigate we can see that it is their coaches or even parents who had advised them to use a chemical to get some advantages. And minors are of course obedient to their coaches and parents.”
He adds, unfortunately, it seems some coaches are not aware Furosemide is a banned chemical.
“If an athlete uses it, then they get the same penalty as any other chemicals affecting performance. Furosemide in our sport of Muaythai maybe does not increase your fighting performance – but it makes you pee. So by making your body lose electrolytes and water, it gives you an advantage to compete in lower weights or make your category weight .”
He stressed: ” If Furosemide is the reason you can make this weight; not discipline, hard work and dedication then it means you are cheating against the rivals. That’s it, full stop and when you are caught you will be out of competition for 4 years.”