Muay Thai fighters in Thailand are being intentionally poisoned – Vice, August 19, 2015
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out.]
…The intentional poisoning of Muay Thai fighters in Thailand is disturbingly common, so widespread, in fact, that the recently retired Muay Thai star Pornsanae Sitmonchai described it as the most dangerous aspect of fighting Muay Thai today. The severity of poisoning ranges from relatively innocuous to potentially lethal. Many incidences of poisoning end up with the fighter being hospitalized, having to take weeks or months to make a full recovery.
The crime is almost always money-driven. Generally speaking, the perpetrator will poison the fighter favored to win, thus getting better odds when betting on the opponent. Many poisoners time their attacks in hopes of it taking effect during the fight, when the boxer has already started the bout and cannot back out or cancel the fight. Perpetrators have to be close to the fighter, at least in a physical sense, to administer the poison. Sometimes the victim knows the perpetrator well; other times he’s just someone in the community, often a gambler working independently or for someone more powerful…