ATHLETE FACES FOUR YEAR SUSPENSION FOR BANNED SUBSTANCE

Johannesburg, South Africa – Since inception of the organisation, EFC has spearheaded the growth, development and safety of MMA throughout Africa. EFC funded and ran its own anti-doping programme initially, however, at the end of April 2015 the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS), which is an agency compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) implemented an anti-doping programme that EFC now follows.

SAIDS has been implementing testing on EFC athletes during competition and has recently found that EFC heavyweight Gary Smit tested positive for a banned substance.

SAIDS informed EFC that the athlete tested positive for the following substances: 2αmethyl-5α-androstan-3α-ol-17-one; 19-norandrosterone and Testosterone. These substances are classified as anabolic steroids on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

The charged athlete has been through the required protocols, where he was allowed the opportunity to present his case at an official hearing on 28 January 2016. Smit was found by SAIDS to be guilty of using prohibited substances and has subsequently been banned by SAIDS, from competition for a period of four years.

“Positive dope test results surprise us as we hold EFC athletes in extremely high regard, however we resolute that this test result and processes will help to further ensure a clean and fair sport for all athletes,” stated EFC President Cairo Howarth. He continued, “Our main priority is safety, and with the help of SAIDS and their thorough testing protocols we are able to ensure a safe competitive environment for our athletes.”

Howarth concluded, “EFC continues to pioneer the way forward for anti-doping in Mixed Martial Arts internationally, becoming the first MMA organisation in the world to officially align with the World Anti-Doping Code, and we are always looking for ways to improve our sport.”

All testing is conducted independently by SAIDS. EFC, in conjunction with the sport association MMA SA PRO, follows the protocols put forth by SAIDS under the direction of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

On 13 November 2015 EFC announced that SAIDS would be conducting out-of-competition testing in addition to in-competition testing being conducted by SAIDS at EFC events. Before then, EFC’s anti-doping programme was facilitated by Drug Detection International.

For detailed breakdown of banned substances and testing protocol, visit: http://www.drugfreesport.org.za/