Today the International MMA Federation (IMMAF) met the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) at the Palace of Justice in Lausanne, in an attempt at mediation to avert a full civil lawsuit.
No resolution was attained, and the session concluded with the judge giving permission to IMMAF to proceed in the Swiss courts.
Represented by Pascal AEBY (pictured left) and Mathias BROSSET of Gros & Waltenspühl, IMMAF is disputing the rejection of its application to become a WADA signatory on the grounds of infringement to its personality rights according to Swiss law. Although IMMAF meets all WADA criteria, the agency which was founded to independently to protect and support participant safety in sport, rejected IMMAF’s application.
No clear reason was given for this refusal.
WADA signatory status is a requirement of all sports federations wishing to become members of Global Alliance of International Sports Federations (formerly SportAccord), the umbrella organization for international sports federations, which enables access to governmental support and public funding, and is the feeder organization to the Olympic Games.
IMMAF CEO Densign White (pictured above) commented:
“GAISF are continuing to create bureaucratic hurdles and to shift the bar higher at each step, far higher than that set for other sports. IMMAF has only at this stage applied for observational status and not full membership. We are able meet each request that GAISF throws at us, but ultimately, they are hiding behind bureaucracy for completely political and protectionist purposes. At the same time WADA, who are meant to be independent, continue to maintain that they need a green light from GAISF to accept IMMAF as a signatory, despite us being fully compliant. And so, the sport of MMA is caught in this cycle, and unfortunately the only way we can see a way out is through the courts.”