As reported earlier, the UFC has replaced USADA with Drug Free Sport International, which will take control over drug testing in 2024. UFC senior vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky revealed the new partnership in their latest presser on Thursday. Novitzky promised the updated program will make vast improvements over USADA and provide a better experience to the athletes in the UFC.
“[Drug Free Sport International] currently handle collection duties for the following professional sports leagues — they have 325 long-term tenured sports clients including the NFL, the NCAA, Major League Baseball, NBA, WNBA, NASCAR, horse racing integrity and welfare unit, PGA, LPGA, FIFA, Crossfit. They actually help out with some drug-testing with various National Anti-Doping Authorities throughout the world and various sports federations,” Novitzky said. “They virtually collect samples for everybody.”
In addition to special analysis testing, Novitzky noted additional changes and improvements that the UFC expects to implement under the new anti-doping program.
- Increase the amount of blood testing
- Conduct studies on the use of stimulants out of competition
- Conduct dry blood spot testing, consistent with NBA, NFL, and MLB
- Conduct oral fluid testing
- Conduct growth hormone-releasing factors testing on every single sample
- Biological passport program
- Increase the amount of isotope ratio mass spectrometry testing, the most comprehensive and precise way to deter testosterone abuse.
- A more robust long-term storage program
The individual overseeing the program is George Piro, a recently retired special-agent-in-charge from the FBI. Piro will serve as the independent administrator and is best known for being the lead interrogator questioning Saddam Hussein after his capture by American forces in Iraq in 2004.