Diaz Cleared by UFC, USADA
It appears the BMF title fight that headlines UFC 244 is back on.
Nate Diaz has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the UFC and USADA after an adverse finding was found in a pre-fight test sample.
Diaz was the one who made the finding aware in a social media statement on Oct. 24, claiming that he is not a cheater and until the matter was fixed, he would not be competing at UFC 244 against Jorge Masvidal — the event’s headline bout.
In a statement released on the evening of October 25, the UFC ultimately stated Diaz did not commit an anti-doping violation. It added that under new provisions in its partnership with USADA made as of August 31 that threshold levels for certain substances “where evidence has shown that positive tests of these substances below the threshold are consistent with innocent contamination.”
Read the full statement from the UFC below:
UFC is an industry-leader in anti-doping and we continuously strive and advocate for an effective and fair program for our sport and athletes. From January of 2019, UFC and USADA, along with independent experts and consultants, have been reviewing the UFC Anti-Doping Policy to ensure it remains a reliable and effective tool to combat doping in our sport and to protect UFC athletes that compete in the Octagon.
As early as August 31, 2019, certain significant changes to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy have been agreed on in principle between UFC and USADA and, as such, have been put into practice. One of these changes is the adoption of scientifically-based decision concentration levels, also known as minimum thresholds, for certain prohibited substances where evidence has shown that positive tests of these substances below the threshold are consistent with innocent contamination. A positive sample of an applicable substance below the decision concentration level results is treated as an atypical finding. An atypical finding will result in no violation in the absence of other facts or circumstances that confirm the athlete intended to gain an unauthorized performance enhancing or therapeutic benefit through the use of the substance.
Since August 31, 2019, several UFC athletes have had their provisional suspensions lifted based on the implementation of decision concentration levels, including Neil Magny. Mr. Magny’s provisional suspension was due to a positive sample containing a prohibited SARM (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator), known as LGD-4033 or Ligandrol, in an amount below the decision concentration level for this substance. Mr. Magny’s atypical finding was reviewed by USADA and it was concluded that no other facts or circumstances were present that would have resulted in an anti-doping policy violation by, or sanction for, Mr. Magny.
On October 15, 2019, UFC was presented with a unique opportunity to discuss the topic of decision concentration levels in a public forum hosted by the California State Athletic Commission. Attendees at the summit included the California State Athletic Commission, the Association of Boxing Commissions, representatives from other state athletic commissions, members of the mixed martial arts media and anti-doping specialists and scientists. Representatives of USADA and UFC, including Jeff Novitzky, Senior Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance of UFC, discussed recent developments that support implementing decision concentration levels. Mr. Magny was also granted the opportunity to explain the facts and circumstances of his matter and his support for implementing decision concentration levels. At the summit, the California State Athletic Commission, the Association of Boxing Commissions and other attendees expressed significant support for incorporating decision concentration levels into their own rules and regulations.
On October 24, 2019, Nate Diaz released a public statement regarding a recent out-of-competition test conducted by USADA. UFC has been notified by USADA that the out-of-competition test concluded that LGD-4033 was present in Mr. Diaz’s sample at an amount below the decision concentration level for this substance. USADA is reviewing the out-of-competition test as an atypical finding. Further laboratory testing conducted by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL), a WADA-accredited lab in Salt Lake City, Utah, has confirmed that two bottles of the same organic, vegan, plant-based daily multivitamin that Mr. Diaz was using were each contaminated with LGD-4033, which the evidence supports resulted in Mr. Diaz’s positive sample.
Mr. Diaz has not committed an anti-doping policy violation, has not been provisionally suspended and is not subject to any sanctions. Additionally, UFC has been informed by independent experts who have determined that there is unequivocally no appreciable performance enhancing or therapeutic benefit from the significantly limited amount of LGD-4033 that may be present in his system, which is roughly 10,000 times lower than one LGD-4033 therapeutic dose.
Upon completion of the revised UFC Anti-Doping Policy, UFC and USADA will make the policy publicly available.
Diaz reportedly tested positive for a small amount of LGD-4033, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM), known to increase lean muscle. LGD-4033 is banned by both USADA and WADA.
Fellow UFC welterweight Neil Magny has previously tested positive for LGD-4033 and saw his suspension reduced.
In their own statement, USADA also says Diaz faces no penalties from them.
Following Mr. Diaz’s public comments on Thursday we can confirm that he has not been sanctioned or provisionally suspended by USADA.
As the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping program, USADA always provides every athlete the presumption of innocence. If the athlete publicly speaks of a potential violation first, then USADA may choose to comment.