UFC is made a very significant change in its anti-doping policy how it handles the situation after the fighter test’s positive for PED. This is the first significant change since UFC partnered with USADA back in 2015.
Earlier, when a fighter used to test positive for a banned substance, USADA would announce it and very little informations were given regarding what was usually a failed drug test and the fighters would be left to defend themselves publicly until the adjudication process was completed.
The change which took place in mid-July states that UFC will now announce a violation only after the case has been resolved.
“I have nothing but the highest caliber of respect for USADA, but it would be obtuse on our part if we did not take a look after a three-year period and say, ‘What are the things we’ve learned and what changes might we need to make to this program?‘” UFC Chief Legal Officer Hunter Campbell told in an interview to ESPN.
“If an athlete has a positive drug test, we aren’t putting them in a fight until their case is resolved — but what we can do is give the athlete an opportunity to adjudicate their issue without the public rushing to judgment. Announcing the test result creates this narrative around the athlete before people understand the facts.”
The reason UFC has taken such a drastic step is that, once fighters test positive, they’re subjected to cruel media trail and labeled as a cheat, only to be declared afterward that the intake was unintentional.
Jeff Novitsky, the UFC vice president of athlete and performance, revealed that out of the 62 cases that have been adjudicated since the doping policy was launched, 21 of those were found to be caused by unintentional use.
Some of the important cases which involved top stars were former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and Josh Barnett which ultimately were found that the intake of drugs was unintentional.
“Part of the feedback Jeff and I have received from the athletes is, ‘I would have appreciated the opportunity to adjudicate this, so the story could be I tested positive, a full investigation was conducted and it was found the use was unintentional,'” Campbell said. “That story is very different than giving somebody a six-month window, where they are trying to defend themselves against accusations they are a cheater.”
In general, the UFC discourages the use of supplements and offers free nutritional advice from its Performance Institute in Las Vegas.