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Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019

UFC Alters Anti-Doping Policy to Prevent Innocent Athletes From Being Punished For Unknowingly Taking Banned Substances

Nate Diaz (photo via UFC / YouTube)

The UFC has made significant changes to its anti-doping policy with the guidance of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Per ESPN, the promotion now has a “UFC prohibited list” and a list bearing “certified supplements.” The second list will make it so that fighters who test positive for a banned substance won’t be penalized in any way if it’s determined that they came by it via a listed supplement that was contaminated.

The prohibited list will go according to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code, however, certain substances will be viewed differently given that advancements in testing have made it so that trace amounts can be detected. Under the new policy, which goes into effect immediately, an athlete who fails a drug test because of a banned substance found in a supplement certified by one of five independent supplement certifiers won’t face any penalties.

A recent high-profile case involves Nate Diaz, who fought Jorge Masvidal after a trace of a banned substance was found in his submission last month. His test detected a banned selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that apparently entered his system via a contaminated organic, vegan multivitamin.

The fighter was cleared of wrongdoing and went on to fight Masvidal at UFC 244 earlier this month but the fight would have definitely been canceled had the incident occurred during the first year of the program.

“The policy needs to be a living, breathing document that’s progressive and allows us to pivot our stance, based on what the science supports,” UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell explained. “Testing measures have gotten so good and the types of contaminants are changing constantly, you’re seeing a rise in these types of cases.”

“We’re thrilled with these changes and hope it becomes the model for all sports organizations,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart added. “We believe it looks at the advances in technology coupled with the marketplace for supplements. We’ve had a number of cases both in our Olympic program and UFC program where we demonstrated trace levels of substances coming from totally innocent sources. We’ve seen a gummy multivitamin that had a SARM in it.”

Ever since the UFC went into partnership with the USADA ahead of the launch of a year-round drug-testing program in 2015, a large number of failed drug tests have been linked to the intake of contaminated legal supplements. That is according to UFC senior vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitsky.

The two bodies agree that, due to the high possibility of trace elements being detected, it’s resulting in fighters being unfairly punished after unknowingly ingesting substances that don’t provide any performance-enhancing benefits in the first place.

The changes to the policy should see to it that this is no longer an issue, or at least lessen such occurrences.

UFC action is set to return on December 7. The event will be shown on ESPN and interested bettors would do well to check this free sports betting website out. The heavyweight main event will pit Alistair Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruik against each other, with Bet365 offering odds of 4/5 on the former and 1/1 on the latter.

Also gracing the main card are Stefan Struve and Ben Rothwell. The pair will go head to head and the bout has prompted odds of 7/10 on Rothwell from Ladbrokes, who also has 23/20 going on Struve.

The women’s strawweight event will bring Marina Rodriguez and Cynthia Calvillo together in the co-main event and you could grab 4/5 odds on Marina from William Hill, as well as odds of 1/1 on the latter. Calvillo happens to be the more popular bet at the moment after going 8-1-0.


posted by FCF Staff @ 10:19 am
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