Importance of Anti-Doping

GAMMA believes in a doping-free sport and anti-doping programmes seek to preserve the spirit of sport. It is the essence of Olympism – the pursuit of human excellence through the dedicated perfection of each person’s natural talents. It is how we play true.

Anti-Doping Rules like Competition Rules, are sport rules governing the conditions under which sport is played.

The GAMMA Anti-doping rules shall apply to GAMMA and to our World Championships, Continental Championships, Promotional Championships, and to each of its National Federation Members. They also apply to Athletes, Athlete Support Personnel, and other Persons (including Sports Manager), each of whom is deemed, as a condition of his/her membership, accreditation, and/or participation of the sport, have agreed to be bound by these Anti-Doping Rules.

The GAMMA Anti-Doping Rules can be found here.

Definition of Doping

According to the World Anti-Doping Code and the GAMMA Anti-Doping Rules, doping is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the following Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs). Most commonly, this means a presence of a prohibited substance in an athlete’s sample collected during Doping Control.

However, it’s not just a positive test that can result in a sanction. In fact, there are 11 Anti-Doping Rule Violations: 

1. Presence of a prohibited substance in an athlete’s sample
2. Use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or method
3. Refusal to submit to sample collection after being notified
4. Failure to file athlete whereabouts information & missed tests
5. Tampering with any part of the doping control process
6. Possession of a prohibited substance or method
7. Trafficking a prohibited substance or method
8. Administering or attempting to administer a prohibited substance or method to an athlete
9. Complicity in an ADRV
10. Prohibited association with sanctioned Athlete Support Personnel
11. Discourage or Retaliate other Persons from reporting relevant Anti-Doping information to the authorities.

Application of Anti-Doping Rules

The first four Anti-Doping Rule Violations on the above list apply only to athletes since they refer to the obligation not to take banned substances and the obligation to submit to testing.

However, the remaining seven types of ADRVs apply to both the athletes and the Athlete Support Personnel, such as coaches therapists, or anyone else working with the athlete. National and International Federation administrators, officials, and sample collection staff may also be liable for their conduct under the World Anti-Doping Code. 

Simply put, everybody involved in GAMMA must respect the World Anti-Doping Code and may be liable for committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.

Anti-Doping Governance

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the independent international body responsible for harmonizing anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries. The World Anti-Doping Code (Code) is the core document that harmonizes anti-doping policies, rules and regulations within sport organizations around the world. The Code is supplemented by eight (8) International Standards, including the Prohibited List which is updated annually. 

Although GAMMA is not yet a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code, GAMMA strives to align itself with WADA so as to implement an effective and Code-compliant anti-doping program for mixed martial arts. GAMMA has therefore delegated the management of its clean sports activities to the International Testing Agency (ITA), an independent organisation that manages anti-doping programs on behalf of International Federations and Major Event Organisers.

GAMMA’s anti-doping programme is not limited to doping controls, it also includes activities like Risk Assessment, management of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for international-level athletes, Results Management, and Education.

If you need to apply for Therapeutic Use Exemption, please fill-up the application form here and send it to tue@ita.sport.

Check out the International Testing Agency’s website to learn more about the GAMMA Anti-Doping program.

In addition to the GAMMA Anti-Doping program, GAMMA athletes and their support personnel may be subject to anti-doping (i.e. testing or education) on the National level. You are encouraged to contact your National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) to find out more information about National-level anti-doping efforts in your country.

GAMMA, ITA, and the NADOs coordinate all anti-doping efforts within the sport of mixed martial arts. 

Principle of Strict Liability

The principle of strict liability applies to all athletes who compete in any sport with an anti-doping program, including Mixed Martial Arts. It means that each athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in their urine and/or blood sample collected during doping control, regardless of whether the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or method. Therefore, it is really important to remember that it is each and every athlete’s ultimate responsibility to know what enters their body.

To protect yourself and your athletes, make sure you are familiar with the 2024 Prohibited List and with the risks associated with supplement use.

Inadvertent Doping

Unintentional (inadvertent) doping happens mainly due to lack of information or having incorrect information. The most common example of inadvertent doping is the use of a prohibited substance without obtaining a Therapeutic Use Exemption or verifying the Prohibited List. Inadvertent doping is also often caused by taking supplements that contain prohibited substances.