The UFC and USADA have made a groundbreaking announcement and changes to their anti-doping policy. USADA and UFC will no longer suspend athletes for using Marijuana.
The announcement was made on Thursday, where the promotion and the anti-doping agency stated that athletes won’t be penalised for using carboxy-THC.
Previously athletes were tested for Marijuana during the competition and there was a threshold limit to the amount of THC that could be present in the body. However, under new rules, no such limit is present and neither will the athletes be penalised “unless further evidence demonstrates the substance was taken for performance-enhancing purposes.”
“It’s really, as with everything we do with this program, it’s science-based,” UFC senior vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky said in a statement. “Especially in the pandemic era, we’ve had all these issues with fighters and taking fights last minute and then ending up with positive in-competition marijuana results and we always follow up on these — ‘when did you use?’ It always was the case that the use was days if not weeks out from the fight.
“I’ve always been interested in this and pushing for some of these changes but it definitely accelerated our look into it. I think the main thing that guided this decision was a report the Department of Transportation put together for Congress a few years back.”
“What the science shows, there’s so many variables with your urine or blood levels of THC that there’s really no scientific correlation between that number and impairment,” Novitzky explained. “That’s really the only thing we care about in fighting from an anti-doping perspective is impairment.”
State Athletic Commission can still penalise athlete for Marijuana use
While, the USADA not penalising athlete for Marijuana is a welcome move, Jeff Novitzky said that the athletes should still be cautious as the state commission could still penalise athletes.
“I would caution everybody to temper their enthusiasm about this because we still have the commission factor here, but we are actively working on that,” Novitzky said in a statement. “We are educating, informing, lobbying them, and I hope not too far in the near future that we can get uniformity across all the rules as it relates to marijuana because I think it would certainly be a benefit to the athletes.” (H/T – MMAFighting.com)
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