The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation has resumed legal action against the World Anti-Doping Agency. The case between the IMMAF and the WADA will be heard at the Tribunal d’Arrondissement in Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland on January 14, 2020.
Previously, the IMMAF’s application to the WADA for signatory status was rejected. The international governing body for the sport of amateur MMA is challenging the decision in the ordinary Swiss Courts.
“At the end of August 2019, we accepted a request of WADA to postpone our court case (scheduled for September 4, 2019) to allow them more time to review the current procedure for a sport organisation to become a signatory but now WADA has asked for a further 5 months extension which the IMMAF Board of Directors has unanimously rejected,” IMMAF CEO Densign White said. “We regret that we have to take legal action, but it seems to be the only way to force this issue. WADA should be a fully independent body but maintain that they need a green light from GAISF to accept IMMAF as a signatory.”
“We continue to wait for GAISF to consider our application for Observer status,” White continued. “As a WADA code compliant sport, we should also be a WADA signatory. Without this status IMMAF’s sanctions are easily bypassed to the detriment of our athletes, their safety and Clean Sport.”
The IMMAF first implemented an anti-doping policy based on the World Anti-Doping Code and Standards in 2015. In-competition testing was introduced at its international amateur MMA tournaments, commencing with the 2015 IMMAF World Championships.
To develop its anti-doping policy and program, the IMMAF works with the internationally renowned expert consultancy, Sporting Integrity Ltd, headed by Michele Verroken. White saud, “IMMAF’s application to WADA is a crucial part of being recognized by the Sport Movement.”
“Signing up to WADA means promoting development, open access to funding, professional services and our authority to safeguard participants,” White continued. “As we start 2020, we are resolute in pursuit of international recognition which benefits our member federations and our athletes.”