An ongoing dispute between IMMAF and WADA is set to continue ©IMMAF

An ongoing dispute between the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is likely to be settled in the Swiss courts after talks between the two organisations failed to reach a resolution.

The IMMAF are maintaining their legal case against WADA, who have continued to reject the organisation's applications to became a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code.

This is despite the IMMAF claiming they meet all the necessary requirements laid out by WADA.

The martial arts body will not be accepted by other sporting groups, such as the Global Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (GAISF), unless they are Code compliant, which the IMMAF claim is limiting their access to Government funding and other sources of revenue.

It has been suggested that the reason for WADA's continual refusal to become a signatory is due to the rebuttal of other combat sports bodies.

WADA have not explained the exact reason but said in a statement in April that the IMMAF's application was not satisfactory.

IMMAF chief executive Densign White criticised GAISF and WADA ©IMMAF
IMMAF chief executive Densign White criticised GAISF and WADA ©IMMAF

IMMAF chief executive Densign White criticised both WADA and GAISF as he admitted the legal route was the only one available to the organisation in their bid to become a Code signatory.

"GAISF are continuing to create bureaucratic hurdles and to shift the bar higher at each step, far higher than that set for other sports," said White. 

"IMMAF has only at this stage applied for observational status and not full membership.

"We are able (to) 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 mixed martial arts is caught in this cycle, and unfortunately the only way we can see a way out is through the courts."