The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) was founded by August Wallen on Feb. 29, 2012, with the purpose of “furthering the development and recognition of the sport of mixed martial arts, enabling international competition through the organization of national MMA federations around the world.”
On Tuesday, the IMMAF took a major step in that direction by establishing a committee for anti-doping.
The task of the committee is to enable World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) compliance within a year’s timeframe, ensuring that MMA is up to par with other major international sports when it comes to anti-doping policies.
“Battling performance enhancing substance abuse is crucial not only to ensure fair play, but most importantly from a health and safety perspective,” read an official statement by the IMMAF.
Bertrand Amoussou, Vice President of the IMMAF and President of the French MMA Federation, has been chosen to chair the committee.
“The first order of business for the committee is to investigate implementation for WADA compliance within the member federations and implications on matters such as sanctioning of professional events and compliance with the national guidelines in each individual country,” it said on the IMMAF website. “This process is estimated to take six months after which the IMMAF anti-doping policies and procedures will be developed and then sent to WADA for approval.”
Responsibilities of the Anti-Doping Committee include:
Development and maintenance of IMMAF anti-doping policies and procedures, ensuring compliance with the WADA code
Education of member federations and assistance in implementation of anti-doping policies and procedures
Development of IMMAF anti-doping education and information programmes for all stakeholders
Development and maintenance of the IMMAF doping control program including pre and post competition testing, result based testing, random testing and targeted testing.
Establishment of criteria for and maintenance of the IMMAF Registered Testing Pool (RTP), identifying those who need provide their whereabouts.
WADA and National anti-doping organization communication
Annual report on IMMAF anti-doping activities
The establishment of an international anti-doping committee for MMA is an important step in the sport’s international growth, acceptance and legitimacy. If MMA is ever going to become an Olympic sport, anti-doping policies are paramount.
WADA works towards a vision of a world where all athletes compete in a doping-free sporting environment.
The IMMAF member federations have been asked to nominate candidates for election to the committee and upon completion of that process additional committee members will be presented.