The UFC has “essentially” struck marijuana as a punishable offense in its anti-doping policy, the promotion and anti-doping partner USADA said on Thursday.
Beginning January 1, a positive drug test for the carboxy-THC, a psycho-active ingredient in cannabis, will no longer be considered a violation – unless USADA is able to prove that an athlete has intentionally demonstrated performance-enhancing It is used according to the objectives. A news release.
Jeff Novitzki, UFC’s senior vice president of athlete health and performance, told ESPN that the decision meant any positive drug test for cannabis would have USADA’s burden of proof extremely high, “essentially” banning marijuana altogether. To insist. Novitzki said that USADA proved to a fighter that cannabis had “deteriorated” so that the fight could be approved.
“I can’t think of an example in any of the historical cases where this evidence has been,” Nowitzki said. “It probably requires visual cues if the athlete appears staggering at an event, smells like marijuana, bleeds from the eyes, things like that. And this … something you rarely, if ever, see. I’m definitely not in my six. Years with the UFC. “
Even if the USADA had found such evidence, Nowitzki said the fighter in question would be more likely to enter a treatment program rather than a suspension.
Novitzky said that the UFC and USADA wanted to make the change because there is no scientific relationship between THC levels in urine or blood samples and actual loss. Nowitzki said that the effect of THC lasts for hours, not days.
“Why the hell do we care what someone did a week ago, let alone one night before, when it doesn’t affect their ability to fight,” Novitzki said.
Many fighters, Novitzki said, use marijuana in exchange for opioids or depression drugs like Exanax or Ambien.
The USAD release states that this change is designed to prioritize combat health and safety to promote combat health, which may require treatment for substance abuse, allowing a fighter to use an octagon. Can disrupt and endanger his safety.
But the fighters are not completely out of the woods yet. Although the USADA will no longer be rigorous on positive marijuana tests, most athletic commissions that oversee UFC events may still occur.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has suspended fighters for up to nine months and has not won any competition in the past two years to test positive for cannabis. Last year, NSAC began taking cannabis suspension six months or less. NSAC suspended UFC fighter Bevon Lewis for six months and fined him $ 1,200 for a positive drug test for cannabis on Wednesday. The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) recently approved no other $ 100 fighter jets for positive marijuana tests.