The Muaythai Sport integrity Conference kicked off on Friday, September 13th with three presentations on anti-doping topics and one on sports governance taking place in the morning. IFMA General Secretary Mr. Fox gave the welcoming speech. IFMA’s National Federation representatives and executives, members of the press, university students, doctors and officials filled out the audience, which was packed to the last seat.

The morning’s guest speakers included Dr. Patrick Goh, Chair of the South East Asian Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (SEA-RADO), Dr. Meechai Inwood, former director of SEA-RADO, Dr. Lotfali Pourkazemi, President of the Asian Federation of the Sports Medicine Anti-Doping Commission and Chair of IFMA’s Medical Commission, and Mr. Mervyn Tan, Chair of IFMA’s Legal Commission.

Dr. Goh gave an excellent presentation which covered the history of WADA and the relevance of anti-doping initiatives. Dr. Inwood warned the audience about the difficulties and challenges in ensuring anti-doping education, and the need for constant vigilance. His message was sobering and realistic. Dr. Pourkazemi discussed the benefits and dangers of nutritional supplements, what they are and why athletes take them. He explained than in some sports, athletes need more calories than they can consume via food, which is why then may be inclined to take supplements. However, in Muaythai, the Dr. explained that the type of muscles an athlete builds on his or her body, are lean and can be achieved naturally with a nutritious diet and training, rather than via supplements. Rounding off the morning, Mr. Tan explained the role of sports law in good governance and the responsibilities of stakeholders in an international federation.

Dr. Tapsuwan, IFMA’s President, took the opportunity to thank all the speakers, especially those who had travelled specially to Bangkok, for coming to help IFMA’s anti-doping education programme and presented them with gifts of appreciation. The MC announced the morning’s session concluded, and the conference attendees went to lunch, eager to return for the afternoon’s programme.