The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) is an organization that will offer and promote effective anti-doping practices and programs in boxing and mixed martial arts. Boxing and mixed martial arts are state regulated. Currently, few athletic commissions perform drug testing for performance enhancing substances. When conducted, testing is not comprehensive, rarely unannounced and not a deterrent. Sports regulators do not have the man-power, time and funds to thoroughly carry out the task. VADA will be an opportunity for athletes to demonstrate their commitment to clean sport.
Professional athletes will volunteer to be subject to unannounced testing at any time during the eight weeks prior to a scheduled fight. As in the Olympic program, an agreement to participate will require fighters to officially inform us of their daily whereabouts, so that they can be tested per the program. Athletes will agree that all results are immediately released to the appropriate adjudicating commission overseeing their upcoming contest. VADA has arranged for a World Anti-Doping Agency approved laboratory to conduct the tests and an internationally-recognized anti-doping group to collect the specimens and maintain the chain of custody.
Perhaps VADA’s most significant role will be to educate both amateur and professional boxers and mixed martial artists, commissions, trainers and public on the hazards of PED use. We will advise athletes regarding safe and PED-free supplements that can be utilized during training through our web site educational materials, pod casts, YouTube videos and periodic chats with nutritional and conditioning experts. VADA will maintain a hotline for athletes to contact experts regarding legal and illegal substances and training regimens. Experts and athlete volunteers can participate in on-line forums and host educational seminars regarding safe training methods, weight loss and hydration. Our experts will also be available to speak at conferences, seminars and with the press regarding our anti-doping efforts and setting up anti-doping programs.
Lastly, VADA will have confidential, professional counseling and referral services available to athletes that are already at risk of PED use.
Boxing and mixed martial arts can be extremely dangerous sports. An athlete takes his/her life into their hands each time they enter the ring or spar. Besides contributing to an unfair advantage and misrepresentation to the public at large that admires and follows these athletes, the intrinsic dangers are astronomically higher to the opponent and the challenger when PED use is involved. VADA will be a way to make these sports safer when the athletes begin and retire from their career.