IMMAF Announces Global Partnership With The International Testing Agency (ITA)

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has officially partnered with the International Testing Agency (ITA). With the initial 4-year contract starting on January 1st, 2024, the ITA will aim to provide IMMAF with a high-quality anti-doping program, which includes independent results management for any potential anti-doping rule violations that may arise.

The ITA now manages the entire testing program for IMMAF, both for in-competition and out-of-competition doping controls. These tests will be based on a bespoke risk assessment that considers all relevant factors, including the physiological profile and sporting specificities of mixed martial arts.

The management of Athlete Biological Passports (ABPs) of MMA athletes and the processing of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) will also be handled by the ITA. In addition, it will strengthen IMMAF’s anti-doping efforts with a long-term sample retention strategy that will allow selected samples to be stored and re-analysed for up to ten years after the date of collection.

To provide MMA athletes with the most comprehensive anti-doping program possible, the ITA will complete the IMMAF anti-doping program with intelligence & investigation activities and respond to all information shared confidentially through the ITA’s secure reporting platform REVEAL.

All clean sport activities on behalf of IMMAF will be conducted by the ITA in strict compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and its International Standards, with the ITA’s dedicated Regulatory Compliance unit ensuring full compliance with the mandatory rules. All potential anti-doping rule violations arising from the anti-doping program will be subject to independent results management by the ITA.

The ITA will also raise awareness of doping, support the values of clean sport, and contribute to the prevention of doping among MMA athletes by establishing an education plan in line with WADA’s International Standard for Education from 2024.

Densign White MBE, IMMAF CEO expressed the global impact of IMMAF’s partnership with the ITA: “The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) is delighted to enter into a partnership with the International Testing Agency (ITA) for the delivery of our anti-doping program. As the only international governing body for MMA fully compliant with the WADA code, we are proud of the developments that have been made by our anti-doping program. We are proud of the developments that have been made by our anti-doping program over the past several years, but now is the time to move to the next level through the robust support of ITA. Athlete safety in IMMAF has always been of paramount importance, and we strive to be the best in class. The ITA relationship will further enhance our good governance credentials and demonstrate our values in terms of transparency and integrity.”

Benjamin Cohen, ITA Director General added: “It gives me great pleasure to warmly welcome IMMAF as our newest partner at the ITA. Our dedicated team is committed to contributing to the development of a robust clean sport program for mixed martial arts athletes as we begin this joint journey for fair play. With a proven track record of managing anti-doping programs for various combat sports, including karate, boxing, aikido, muaythai, judo, kurash, wushu, wrestling, kickboxing, savate, sambo and taekwondo, the ITA is well versed in tailoring strategies to the specific needs of these athletes. As we take over the responsibility for the entire IMMAF anti-doping program from 1 January 2024, we want to support IMMAF athletes with the best independent clean sport during measures possible and ensure fair competition for years to come.”