15 November 2022
SAMBO is a martial art that has developed from a self-defence and hand-to-hand combat style for servicemen into an international sport discipline. FIAS, the world governing body for SAMBO, has been a Signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code since 2006. In order to further professionalise the clean sport endeavours for its athletes and increase the independence of its anti-doping operations, FIAS has entered a partnership with the ITA. This partnership entails the full delegation of the FIAS international-level anti-doping program.
The ITA will henceforth conduct the entire testing program for FIAS, both for in- and out-of-competition doping controls. These controls will be based on a bespoke risk assessment taking into account all relevant factors, including the physiological profile and sports specificities of SAMBO. The administration of the Athlete Biological Passports (ABPs) of SAMBO athletes and the handling of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) will also be managed by the ITA. It will furthermore enhance the anti-doping efforts of SAMBO with a long-term sample storage strategy that enables the storage and re-analysis of selected samples for up to ten years after the collection date.
To provide SAMBO athletes with the most comprehensive anti-doping program possible, the ITA will lead investigations and the collection of intelligence for FIAS, as well as the possibility for the confidential sharing of information through its doping reporting platform REVEAL.
All clean sport activities on behalf of FIAS will be carried out by the ITA in strict compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and its International Standards, with ITA’s dedicated Regulatory Compliance Unit ensuring full alignment with all mandatory rules. Any potential anti-doping rule violations stemming from its anti-doping efforts will be subject to independent results management by the ITA.
The ITA will also raise awareness about doping, support clean sport values and contribute to doping prevention among SAMBO athletes with the establishment of a four-year education plan starting in 2023 in compliance with the WADA International Standard for Education. To support the implementation of this plan, the ITA will introduce dedicated online and event-based education opportunities specifically aimed at SAMBO athletes.
ITA Director General Benjaming Cohen and FIAS CEO Michal Buchel.
“I wholeheartedly welcome the decision of FIAS to join the ITA and ensure that SAMBO athletes benefit from an expert-led, independent and comprehensive anti-doping program,” says ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen. “Our team has extensive knowledge in leading anti-doping operations for combat sports and we will make sure that SAMBO can benefit from this expertise. I am also pleased that in the scope of this new partnership, the ITA will develop and implement a dedicated education plan for SAMBO starting in 2023 – we strongly believe that anti-doping is not just about testing, but also about protecting athletes through increased awareness that can potentially prevent doping from happening in the first place.”
SAMBO is a sport that is currently experiencing rapid international growth. “FIAS is a fully IOC-recognised organisation since 2021, therefore entering into collaboration with International Testing Agency is one of the important steps towards a new era of delivering and professionalising our anti-doping programmes and ensuring the implementation of a high level of anti-doping services. Partnering with the ITA is the logical and crucial step in ensuring FIAS remains a champion for clean sport all over the world. We firmly believe the ITA will ensure the best possible delivery of our anti-doping programmes, and we are looking forward to the journey ahead,” says FIAS CEO Michal Buchel.