UFC newcomer Jack Shore revealed yesterday that he was promptly visited by representatives of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), with a 7am wake up following his vacation in Mexico. The former amateur standout was subjected to his first doping examination since winning the 2015 IMMAF European Open Championships.
After his undefeated amateur tenure (12-0) concluded with a gold medal and four impressive triumphs in the men’s lightweight division of the inaugural IMMAF European Open, the 24-year-old Welshman kicked off his professional career in 2016 and quickly rose to prominence, winning the Cage Warriors bantamweight title before signing with the UFC this year, now 11-0 as a professional.
With ten fiery stoppages in his eleven pro outings, including 6 submissions and 4 knockouts, Shore established himself as one of Europe’s premier talents outside of the UFC. However, yesterday’s visit from USADA – conductors of the UFC’s Anti-Doping Program – marked the first examination of his professional tenure, three years after his pro debut, having last been tested as an amateur under the banner of IMMAF at the 2015 European Open finals.
When asked if more testing is needed at the professional level outside of the UFC, among prominent British and European promotions, Shore replied: “I think it is needed, because having a physical advantage in combat sport can be a matter of people being at a even higher risk than what we already are, the risk is high enough as it is! However, I understand it would be difficult for shows to fund it as I believe USADA costs UFC millions per year.”
In contrast to the UK where MMA remains unrecognised by sports authorities, domestic level anti-doping has become a leading example for both amateur and professional MMA events under Italian regulatory body FIGMMA, in conjunction with the Italian Anti-Doping Agency (NADO Italia) and the Ministry of Health, per FIGMMA request. FIGMMA board member Vito Paolillo explained, “We had a few meetings with NADO and explained that by being a sport that is newly entering regulation, we need to do as much as possible now to stop doping early. NADO understood this and now test MMA events more often than any other non-Olympic sport.”
From 18-23 June Italy is set to host the 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA European Open Championships and Junior European Open in the city of Rome. There, the WADA compliant anti-doping program of IMMAF – WMMAA will continue, carried out via the Italian Medical Federation as FIGMMA and the unified world governing body continues to ensure clean and safe sport at MMA’s premier amateur level.
While Jack Shore represented the UKMMAF national team as an amateur in 2015, Welsh athletes will compete as Team Wales for the first time at the 2019 European Open, the fresh national team makes its debut in Rome following the establishment of Welsh governing body, MMA Cymru.
By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran
Photo credit: Cage Warriors