Global mixed martial arts governing body, the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), has submitted its application to the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA).
IMMAF CEO, Densign White, said:
“IMMAF’s application to WADA marks an important step in our work to see the sport of MMA become recognised. The Anti-doping programme that IMMAF already implements is an important part of ensuring athlete safety and fairness in the sport. WADA recognition would not only serve as official, third party approval of our regulation of Anti-doping, but would also mark a political milestone. To be in the running for recognition by the International Olympic Committee, MMA must first be accepted by sports body, Sport Accord. But in order to apply to Sport Accord, IMMAF must be a prior signatory to the WADA code. I cannot stress enough how the official acceptance of IMMAF would remove the many existing obstacles to protecting the health and safety of MMA’s participants worldwide.
“As IMMAF is already meeting WADA criteria through its current Anti-doping programme, and is in fact pushing boundaries in its stringency, we feel confident in our application and see no valid reason why it should not be accepted.”
In 2015 IMMAF implemented an anti-doping policy based on the World Anti-Doping Code and Standards. In-competition testing was introduced at its international Amateur MMA tournaments, commencing with the 2015 IMMAF World Championships. The IMMAF anti-doping rules are based on strict liability, essential for the health and safety of the sport of MMA and its participants. The move is in line with IMMAF’s sporting values, as the organisation has worked to achieve compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. IMMAF appointed internationally renowned expert consultancy, Sporting Integrity Ltd, to advise on and develop its anti-doping policy and programme.
Declared athlete medications are reviewed by IMMAF’s independent Medical Committee in the run up to all IMMAF competitions. Only medications outlined under the World Anti-Doping rules are permitted, with additional scrutiny of applications for therapeutic use of prohibited treatments. Further to this, IMMAF is currently working to establish its out-of-competition testing programme based on its new world rankings system.
IMMAF’s Anti-doping Consultant, Michele Verroken, of Sporting Integrity said:
“IMMAF’s strong commitment to fair and clean sport should provide reassurance to athletes and officials that the sport is serious about anti-doping.
“Sporting Integrity is delighted to support IMMAF with the challenge of drug-free MMA, and provide an independent, accountable anti-doping office to assist IMMAF deliver effectively. In particular, we are pleased with the positive discussions with UFC about ways in which we can support each other over our shared goal of tackling doping in MMA. Inclusion of IMMAF as a WADA Code signatory would be of considerable benefit to the sport and the anti-doping community.”