The penultimate day of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s 2021 Technical Seminar Week featured another informative session on ‘Doping Risks and Anti-Doping Solutions’ with Consultant Michele Verroken of Sporting Integrity
Expanding on the values and processes on IMMAF’s strict and WADA adherent anti-doping policy, Verroken commented:“We believe at IMMAF that cheating has no place in the sport. We’ve prioritised the education of members, so they understand what their responsibilities and liabilities are.”
The IMMAF takes every opportunity to inform its international community and repeat the necessary awareness for anti-doping, Verroken continued to express the onus of responsibility on athletes, coaches and parents to be well informed about both the risks and implications of a doping offence, which under some national laws can lead to imprisonment, and pointed at the duty of national federations to provide members with the right guidance and resources to support appropriate diet and performance programmes. Verroken detailed the issue of supplement blends not always having ingredients properly listed, as well as the risks of consuming CBD, which has the probability of containing prohibited substances.
The Anti-doping expert also informed members that the completion of WADA ADeL courses will soon be mandatory for participants of IMMAF Championships.
Addressing national leaders, Verokken drew the line between ignorance and education in anti-doping and truly being aware of the risks and appropriate solutions, and how the same rules apply throughout the pyramid, from international level all the way down to local club level. National legislation takes a priority over international but should always be in line with the WADA code.
Within anti-doping there is a strict liability rule, the expectation to know the risk and understand it, and this is why athletes should always take care with what they put into their body. Importantly, the latest prohibited list by WADA is always made available in October, which applies from 1 January.
Verokken went on to explain the difference between prohibited substances in-competition and at all times and touched on the in-competition risk of taking CBD, which most likely includes prohibited substances.
National federations on behalf of their athletes can utilise the TUE system when appropriate, via guidance from their National Anti-Doping Committee.