UFC announces formal changes to anti-doping policy

UFC announces formal changes to anti-doping policy

The UFC and USADA, along with independent experts and consultants recently reviewed the UFC Anti-Doping Policy to ensure it remains a reliable and effective tool to combat doping in MMA and to protect UFC athletes that compete in the Octagon.

This review is now complete, and UFC and USADA have agreed to make several significant changes to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, including with respect to decision concentration levels and certified supplements.

The UFC Anti-Doping Policy now incorporates the “UFC Prohibited List”, which sets forth decision concentration levels, or thresholds, for various substances that have been proven, on a scientific and evidentiary basis, to be regularly found as contaminants at levels that would not provide an athletic performance enhancing benefit. If an athlete’s positive test is of one of these substances at a level below the decision concentration level, the athlete’s sample will be treated as an atypical finding under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, rather than an adverse analytical finding. Absent other evidence of doping, such an atypical finding will not result in a sanction against the athlete.

Additionally, the UFC Anti-Doping Policy now provides additional clarity on the issue of supplement and environmental contaminants. All UFC athletes will be directed to use only those supplements certified by one of the following accredited certification agencies:

(1) NSF Certified For Sport
(2) Kolner Liste (Cologne List)
(3) Informed Sport Trusted by Sport
(4) HASTA (Human and Supplement Testing Australia)
(5) BSCG (Banned Substance Control Group)

Absent other evidence of doping, where an athlete’s positive sample is caused by either a certified supplement, or other environmental contamination (such as food, water or prescription medication), the athlete will not be sanctioned under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

In addition, as previously announced, UFC has partnered with supplement provider Thorne to provide UFC athletes with certified supplements through the UFC Performance Institute. Together with a personalized nutrition program developed by UFC’s renowned sport dietitians, UFC athletes may obtain safe and high quality supplements to support their unique needs.

“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.”

A copy of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy can be found at ufc.usada.org.