The highly anticipated GAMMA European Championships will kick off tomorrow in Kyiv, Ukraine, with some 120 athletes from approximately 15 countries expected to compete.
The event, which will run from 5-9 November at the Palace of Sports, will feature some of the continent’s best young amateur athletes competing in MMA and Striking MMA disciplines.
Striking MMA, introduced by GAMMA at the Asian Championships in August this year, is considered the perfect gateway into traditional MMA for athletes looking to transition from purely striking styles such as boxing, kickboxing and muaythai as it prohibits ground fighting.
Teams from across Europe will begin arriving tomorrow for registration, followed by weigh-ins and the competition draw on Saturday, with bouts scheduled to run from Sunday through Tuesday in front of a live audience. The action will also be streamed live on GAMMA’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
Medals will be awarded in 16 weight categories (9 for men and 7 for women).
For the first time, GAMMA will conduct an anti-doping education seminar for athletes and their entourages in Kyiv. Some of the topics to be covered include athletes’ rights and responsibilities, the dangers of doping, doping control processes, and the role of coaches and support staff in keeping the sport clean.
In addition, GAMMA is set to become the first International Federation in the world to introduce random hydrated weight testing at its events, beginning with the European Championships. The introduction of hydrated weight testing is aimed at discouraging dramatic weight loss/gains to tip the weigh-in at a specific number, which can be extremely dangerous to athletes. Further details on the GAMMA hydrated weight protocol can be found here.
“As the global governing body for mixed martial arts, GAMMA not only organises events for aspiring athletes,” said GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt. “It is imperative that we also do what’s right for the sport in terms of athlete safety and well-being, which includes initiatives such as the seminar on anti-doping and hydrated weight testing. Ensuring the safest and cleanest possible environment for our athletes allows the athletes to compete at their best on a level playing field.”
GAMMA Introduces Anti-Doping Education at European Championships
Representatives from the International Testing Agency (ITA) delivered an informative anti-doping seminar for athletes and their entourages today during the GAMMA European Championships 2021.
A mandatory seminar for athletes covered several important topics, including athletes’ rights and responsibilities, the Prohibited List (including medications, supplements and Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)), the doping control process, and the consequences of doping.
The interactive workshop was delivered in English with translation in Spanish, French and Russian, and athletes from 15 European countries had the opportunity to pose their questions, be guided through a doping control process demonstration and learn about the common pitfalls of doping in sport.
“As part of our ongoing athlete welfare programme and our commitment to educate and protect our athletes, this seminar was an integral part of the championships,” said GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt. “We are committed to clean sport, and I would like to thank the ITA for their continued support in improving the knowledge of our MMA community.”
The ITA is an independent anti-doping organisation and supports the clean sport programme for the GAMMA European Championships. GAMMA first partnered with the ITA in 2020, but this was the first time such a workshop was delivered at a GAMMA event.
Olya Abasolo and Mairi Irvine from ITA sharing a light-hearted moment at the ITA Education Seminar.
“Anti-doping education may not be the most glamorous topic, but it is vital for you as athletes to keep MMA clean,” ITA Education Manager Olya Abasolo told the assembled athletes. “Our role is not to police you as athletes, it is to provide you with the tools and the correct information about the rules around anti-doping, the role of the different anti-doping organisations and your rights as athletes.”
Following the workshop for athletes, a separate seminar dedicated to support personnel was held. The ITA will be present in Kyiv for the duration of the GAMMA European Championships.