USADA To Continue To Test Athletes Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Despite fights getting cancelled due to the coronavirus, the United States Anti-Doping Agency will not be resting anytime soon.

The organization, which is the anti-doping partner of the UFC, announced that it will continue to test fighters regularly as if it is business as usual. Random drug testing will continue for those still within the UFC, while also testing those preparing for the Olympics, both Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. In a release, USADA announced the following:

“At USADA, we are here to protect athletes and ensure their right to compete on a healthy, clean and fair playing field. We are equally committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of athletes and sample collection personnel. We understand we are operating in an uncertain time, and our experts are closely following the advice and best practices of national and local health authorities.”

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With the coronavirus affecting the world, there have been new and methodical ways to make sure cleanliness is of the utmost importance. As a result, the following guidelines are set to take place for future samples taken:

  • DCOs will use personal protective gear, including mask and gloves. DCOs will also have hand sanitizer for use during the processing of the sample.
  • Both athletes and DCOs are being requested to wash their hands before testing occurs.
  • Athletes and DCOs are being requested to maintain a six-foot distance during the process.
  • No USADA DCO who has shown any signs of sickness relating or not relating to the coronavirus will be collecting samples.

Athletes are being told to continue to share their whereabouts, regardless of events getting cancelled. USADA will also be teaming up with WADA and NADO during this time in order to spread its reach. The UFC has already had to postpone three events, while all other combat sports have had to shut down events months in advance. It takes about 14 days for symptoms of the virus to be shown.

In the above video, USADA CEO Travis Tygart stated the following:

“While it may be difficult to remember in the midst of all this uncertainty, we trust that the day will arrive—hopefully soon—when we all will celebrate as you inspire us by demonstrating your commitment to fair play and your great skill on the field of play. Hopefully, you know that all of us here at USADA are genuinely here to protect your right to a healthy and fair playing field.