UFC Makes Changes To Drug Testing Policy

USADA

The UFC is making some big changes to its current drug testing policy. Over the past several years, fighters have run into some unfair situations with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports the UFC will no longer announce violations until the fighter’s case is completely resolved.

The UFC has reportedly been decided on this new change since mid-July. UFC’s Chief Legal Officer, Hunter Campbell, had this to say on the decision:

”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,” Campbell said.

“Announcing the test result creates this narrative around the athlete before people understand the facts.”

UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky, noted that 21 of 62 adjudicated UFC-related USADA cases were the result of “non-intentional use. ” Fighters such as Junior dos Santos, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Marcos Rogerio de Lima were cleared of their respective cases. It was deemed they were victims of taking tainted supplements:

”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.”

What do you make of the UFC’s drug testing policy changes?