Muay Thai has received provisional recognition as Olympic sports by the International Olympic Committee last Tuesday.

The Muay Thai along with Cheerleading will now be able to obtain IOC funding and take part in a number of programmes, including athlete development and anti-doping. At the end of their three-year provisional recognition period, they can apply to become part of the Olympic Games sports programme.

“Muay Thai is an organisation with 135 national federations, nearly 60 are recognised by their national Olympic Committees and nearly 400,000 registered athletes,” said IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell following the decision of the IOC Executive Board.

McConnell, who said 16 sports had applied for recognition, added that both Muay Thai and cheerleading would receive $25,000 a year as direct funding from the IOC.

While becoming part of the Olympic Games is a drawn-out seven-year progress, the IOC has changed the rules to allow host cities to introduce sports of their choice for a one-off appearance in the Games.

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