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Perth A sports combat doctor has warned the practice of weight cutting will claim more lives if it continues to go unregulated. The practice — which is common among combat sport athletes — involves people quickly losing between five to 10 per cent of their body weight before competition.
It's been widely publicised in professional sports including boxing, more recently when former welterweight champion Jeff Horn weight cut before his fight against Gary Corcoran, losing some 4. Here's a look at how it works, and its impact on the human body. Why do athletes do it?
It's carried out through dehydration, usually with the aim of competing in a lower weight class. Typical methods include restricting water intake and sweating in saunas, hot baths and layers of clothing.
His heart had stopped and he had suffered kidney failure after a "hard weight cut". InMMA fighter Yang Jian Bing died after suffering complications from attempts to lose weight, and last year Muay Thai fighter Jordan Coe died in Thailand ahead of a fight, believed to be from heatstroke. Mother says more fighters will lose lives Last year, Perth teenager Jessica Lindsay died while preparing for a Thai boxing bout.
Her death is expected to be the subject of a coronial inquest. Jessica Lindsay third from left died from dehydration while preparing for a bout. Supplied Jessica's mother Sharron Lindsay has warned more fighters will lose their lives if tighter rules are not established.
Ms Lindsay said her daughter was instructed by people in her boxing gym to dehydrate her body to lose weight. That is a weight-cutting technique where fighters increase their water intake before dramatically restricting consumption days or hours before competition. She sacrificed her life for two kilos.
Jessica Lindsay right "sacrificed her life for two kilos", her mother said. Supplied Doctor has issued warning on the practice Dr Paddy Golden, who has worked with combat sport athletes for more than 10 years, said he warned the Combat Sport Commission in Western Australia about the risk of weight cutting before Jessica's death.
Steve Brown training ahead of an MMA fight. Chris Lockyer Despite the calls, many athletes are carrying out the practice, and continue to do so each time they compete. Steve Brown — a former judo Olympian who is now an MMA fighter — said he had cut weight " to times". He explained he had "made mistakes weight cutting", including passing out in a sauna, but had since become more aware of the danger.
Should it be dangerous? It doesn't need to be. The AIS website states it is "strongly recommended that athletes involved in weight category sports seek the advice of a suitably qualified sports dietitian to individualise their weight management plan, and short-term weight-making techniques".
However, for Sharron Lindsay, the dangers are still prevalent and she hopes no more families lose a child to weight cutting.Such is the nature of boxing where rendering concussions is part of the objective. “We’re in the sport to make some money, but it’s a dangerous sport,” Arreola told .
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