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Thai Olympic Medalists Paying for Manus Boonjumnong's Mistakes

Chances are, unless you're a close follower of Thai Olympians, the name Manus Boonjumnong is a new one to you. He was the 2004 gold medalist in light welterweight boxing and, as a result, won some $600,000 in bonuses. He promptly blew all of it in a frenzy of gambling and partying which cost him both his national respect and his pregnant wife.

Thailand wants to be sure that history doesn't repeat itself this summer so they're going to act like parents of small children. They're still offering fistfuls of Baht to winning athletes, $314,000 for a gold, but they won't fork it all over at once. 2008 medalists will get half their money paid out over 20 years.

"We don't want them to spend it all at once, they might need this money when they get old," Thai Olympic committee member Charoen Wattanasin said. "We will give it to them every month. Most of them manage their finances but there have been a few bad examples in the past."

Strangely enough, Boonjumnong himself may end up being a test case for the success of the new payout system. He's expected to contend for a medal again this summer, though you'd have to wonder why a man with his taste for the high life didn't turn pro in the intervening years.