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UFC And USADA Revamping Anti-Doping Policy

November 26, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Lambert
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– With the UFC 244 main event between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal almost falling through due to Diaz testing positive for trace amounts of a non-performance enhancing contaminated multivitamin, UFC and USADA have gotten together to revamp the policy (via MMAWeekly).

“We are really excited about the evolution of the UFC program and hope it becomes the model for all sports that truly want to protect the rights of clean athletes,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “For several years, we have pushed for change to ensure that athletes can trust the food, medications, and supplements they use without fear of being treated like intentional, hard core cheaters. We expect these changes to go a long way in allowing this to happen and to show athletes who compete clean that their decisions will be supported and validated.”

The biggest change made to address certain trace-level laboratory findings is the establishment of the UFC Prohibited List and the inclusion of evidence-based decision concentration levels for substances that have shown to be consistent with contamination throughout the global anti-doping system. The UFC Prohibited List has been amended to incorporate the WADA Prohibited List except for these specifically identified substances which will have decision concentration levels.

The list of identified substances that will now have low-level decision concentration levels means that USADA will treat athletes’ samples that contain those substances below the decision concentration levels as atypical findings, which will result in additional testing.

“Putting forth a fair anti-doping program with due process protection is integral to having a strong and comprehensive program,” said UFC Senior VP of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky. “A combination of the pervasiveness of low level contaminates in our environment and the increased levels of testing sensitivity of anti-doping laboratories has created an explicit need for decision concentration levels to ensure that the program is penalizing intentional cheaters and not those athletes who have been faithfully adhering to the anti-doping policy.”

Added Hunter Campbell, UFC Chief Business Officer, “UFC and USADA remain committed to the dynamic landscape of anti-doping and will continue to comprehensively review the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, together with independent experts and state athletic commissions, to ensure it remains the most effective and comprehensive anti-doping program in all of professional sports and provides fairness and due process to all UFC athletes.”

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UFC, Jeremy Lambert