In the wake of recent controversial events at the AIDA-sanctioned Vertical Blue competition this past summer as well as the AIDA World Depth Championships in Cyprus in September, the World Underwater Federation (CMAS) announced this week it has “resolved to discontinue further cooperation with AIDA.”
In a Facebook post, CMAS said:
“CMAS is a signatory to WADA and hence applies the WADA-Code and enforces it vis-à-vis its athletes, teams, officials and member National Federations. Yet, CMAS’ fight against doping is not only aimed to sanction the use of prohibited substances or methods, but also expands to the safety of athletes and the preservation of their well-being by also adopting protective measures. And in fact, although not contemplated by the WADA Code-related list, CMAS has banned certain substances such as sildenafil and benzodiazepines, also adopting enforcement measures and rules, based on the experiences and processes provided for in the WADA-Code. Such actions represent a solid answer to the need of transparency, athletes’ safety and fairness in sport and aims also to ensuring a proper balance of competition between all the athletes.
“CMAS is fully committed to growing the Freediving movement worldwide and has resolved to launch the best freediving tournament to be known as World Series of Freediving and to see its first event in 2024. At the same time, CMAS is adopting all the necessary means and educational tools to grow freediving from roots and up to the top levels at a global level.
“Considering all the above, and following the recent developments at the AIDA international freediving event in Bahamas (we were the only ones to take immediate action) and the following event in Cyprus, which appear to be far from the CMAS standards, we have resolved to discontinue further cooperation with AIDA. We will increase the efforts of the CMAS, strengthen our commitment to promote Freediving under CMAS aegis of clean, safe sport governance, until its possible for its inclusion in the Olympic Games.”
Croatian athletes Vitomir Maricic and Petar Klovar were banned from this year’s Vertical Blue competition for possessing PEDs without a valid prescription, and have since vehemently declared their innocence.
Following the competition, Klovar and Maricic were “provisionally suspended … from any sport activities within CMAS, pursuant to the article 10.2 of CMAS Statutes,” according to a CMAS press release issued at the time.
Last month, Klovar set an AIDA world record in the Free Immersion (FIM) discipline at the AIDA Depth World Championships in Limassol, Cyprus with a dive to 135m/443ft, and Maricic came in second place in the same discipline with a dive to 123m/404ft, feats that were met with doubt among some in the freediving community.