This morning, September 13th in Bangkok, Thailand, marks the official world launch of the World Combat Games Programme, called “RealPlayer”.

RealPlayer is aSport Integrity online education coursedeveloped by SportAccord, and specifically tailored for the athletes participating to the upcoming World Combat Games (WCG) taking place from October 18th-26th in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) has the honour of launching the program on behalf of SportAccord and will be the first of the 15 International Federations involved in the WCG to widely raise awareness among its officials and athletes about the importance and value of such education programs. The WCG sports are: Aikido, Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Ju-jitsu, Karate, Kendo, Kickboxing, Muaythai, Sambo, Savate, Sumo, Taekwondo, Wrestling and Wushu.

In a cooperative process, SportAccord, the World Combat Games organizers and the 15 Federations agreed to make the e-learning program mandatory for all athletes competing in the WCG.

IFMA is committed to joining the global fight to uphold sport integrity, and is proud to be able to play a role.

The Chairman of the WCG, Mr. Sergey Soloveychik, and the President of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand, General YuthasakSasiprapha, will open the launch ceremony at the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Bangkok. Representatives from 10 of the 15 WCG Federations, universities, embassies, Muaythai athletes, and 75 of IFMA’s member countries will be the live audience introduced to the program which WCG athletes will be completing in the coming weeks.

Sport integrity issues, such as illegal sports betting and match-fixing, appear more and more frequently on the world stage, and it is necessary that international sport federations take the lead in providing their stakeholders with the resources to educate and protect themselves. The WCG are a great opportunity to join forces.

The increasing popularity of martial arts and combat sports worldwide is a driver for sophisticated criminal networks to find growing interest in targeting those sports and invest in a similar way as they have already in other world sports. With this significant “RealPlayer” step, the 15 Federations demonstrate that they are aware of the challenges which lie ahead.  The moment to take action is now. SportAccord is committed to support the move, and IFMA looks forward to be a driving force in the process.