Combat sports participants frustrated waiting for green light to resume activities

COMBAT SPORTS

Boxing promoters and others in the field of combat sports are fighting to get their sport back in the ring, after months of confinement due to COVID-19 and no end in sight.

A Facebook group has been set up to lobby the Quebec government and to air their concerns about being stuck on the sidelines while other sports have been given the greenlight.  

Quebec public health has said that the risk of spreading the virus is greater  in combat sports because of the close contact and the bigger presence of sweat, saliva and possibly blood.

But Samuel Décarie-Drolet who has been working in combat sports for nearly 20 years argues it's a little easier to control their operations and to make their sport safer than others.

"There are plenty of things we can do to make sure the fighters and their team are safe. If the two fighters (test) negative, it's impossible to contract the virus," said Décarie-Drolet.

Décarie-Drolet said it's unfair and frustrating when they can't take part in their sport and earn a living like everyone else in the sports industry where the risk can be just as big.

"Basketball -  this is crazy. Go in a park - it's really hot outside right now. Everybody's playing, they don't wear a mask, they don't wear a t-shirt. There's plenty of sweat, they're yelling at each other, they're talking. When you're boxing, you're not talking, your mouth is closed," said Décarie-Drolet.

They want to meet with the Legault government and public health officials to discuss the matter.

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