Thursday, January 29, 2009

Letter from GAISF President Mr Hein Verbruggen to the President of the NOC of Thailand in regard to the 1st Asian Martial Arts Games in Bangkok, April

Source: Sambo federation -FIAS

Gen. Yuthasak Sasiprapha
Olympic Committee of Thailand
226, Banampawan Sriayuthaya Rd, Dusit

5th January 2009

Dear President,
We have been informed that your Olympic Committee is organising the 1st Asian artial Arts Games to be held in Bangkok coming April. Though acknowledging your right to organise this event, we must state that we are deeply concerned by the fact that you seem to invite a Muay Thai Federation, which is NOT recognized by GAISF as the official International Federation for Muay Thai (which is IFMA as you know).
We are aware of the fact that you do not wish to honour the official GAISF recognition of IFMA and we are equally aware of existing litigation in this case in your country. From our side, however we ask your understanding for the fact that GAISF member IFs start to have serious problems with the fact that they are invited in events where their athletes have to compete against athletes that are members of so-called “dissident IFs”. With “dissident IFs” we do not mean anything negative, but we just want to indicate the fact that these Federations are active within sports that have already an IF that – after thorough investigation and due diligence - has been recognized by GAISF as THE official international governing instance for that specific sport. This GAISF recognition brings also important obligations, such as e.g. acceptance and application of the WADA-Anti Doping Code. You will easily appreciate that - as a result - GAISF IFs have a clear preference to participate in events and championships in which other GAISF IFs exclusively partcipate.
GAISF has 13 Martial Arts & Combat Sports IFs as members and we have installed since several years a Working Group of all these IFs in order to discuss items and projects of common interest. During a meeting recently held in Moscow, Presidents, Secretary Generals and/or other representatives of these 13 IFs have clearly voiced concern about the participation rules of the coming up Asian Martial Arts Games. For the time being they have therefore decided not to confirm definitely their participation. Given the dates of your event (April), we understand that this is a rather urgent matter and that this may present serious practical problems. We are therefore willing to meet and discuss this important issue with you on short notice in order to find suitable and practical solutions. We inform you that this issue has been raised in a separate letter to the President of OCA who receives also a copy of this letter.
We thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,

Hein Verbruggen
GAISF President
IOC Honorary Member

Cc: IAF (Aikido) President, Peter A. Godsbury
AIBA (Boxing) President, Ching-Kuo Wu
IJF (Judo) President, Marius L. Wizer
JJIF (Ju-jitsu) President, Panagiotis Theodoropoulos
WKF (Karate) President, Antonio Espinos Ortueta
IKF (Kendo) President, Yoshimitsu Takeyasu
WAKO (Kickboxing) President, Ennio Falsoni
FILA (Wrestling) President, Raphaël Martinetti
IFMA (Muay Thai) President, Sakchye Tapsuwan
FIAS (Sambo) President, David Rudman
IFS (Sumo) President, Hidetosh Tanaka
WTF (Taekwondo) President, Chungwon Choue
IWUF (Wushu) President, Zaiqing Yu
OCA President, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah
IOC Sports Director, Christophe Dubi

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