USADA to use oral fluid testing – which potentially aids athletes who use marijuana

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The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) along with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is finally bringing a new sample collection method that will help UFC fighters avoid failed drug tests for marijuana.

Jeff Novitzky, who is the senior VIP of Athlete Health and Performances for the UFC took to social media to announce that USADA has begun piloting oral fluid testing.

“UFC program has started piloting a new collection method (oral fluid). Biggest upside…it potentially will only detect use of in-comp prohibited only substances (like marijuana/THC) within hours of use…not what athlete did a week or month ago.”

USADA updated the full info on their website:

“Dedicated to innovation in anti-doping, USADA is introducing oral fluid testing, a pain-free, non-invasive collection experience that is being piloted both in and out-of-competition in the UFC Anti-Doping Program. This testing method is safe, reliable, and can be administered anywhere.

Collecting samples through the pilot program is critical to validating the sample collection process and analytical methods, as well as securing athlete feedback. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratories and other global anti-doping partners will also play an integral role in evaluating and adopting these revolutionary new technologies for programs and athletes worldwide.

Starting on December 11, 2019, all UFC athletes, regardless of location, are subject to oral fluid testing. In preparation for your first oral fluid testing experience, here are answers to some of the questions you might have about the new collection method. You can also find a step-by-step guide demonstrating the collection process.”

Marijuana is legal for UFC fighters, but only when they are not in competition. There are numerous fighters who have been suspended by the USADA for using marijuana. Last month, Ramsey Nijem was suspended for nine months for testing for marijuana.

What do you guys think of this latest step by USADA?


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