UFC Denies Reports That Athletes Must Cover Costs For Pre-Fight Covid-19 Testing
With the world battling with the new variant of the coronavirus, UFC too has upped the ante.
The top-tier MMA promotion has updated its COVID-19 protocol in a statement it issued on Wednesday.
“Please be advised that we are updating UFC’s COVID-19 testing program to give all athletes and corners the freedom and flexibility to secure their own COVID-19 test prior to departing for their scheduled UFC event,” UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell wrote in a memo.
“This change is being made because low-cost COVID-19 testing has become readily accessible in the U.S. and abroad. To clarify, UFC will reimburse you for the initial cost of securing your own pre-departure test. As a result, UFC will no longer provide at-home testing kits.”
“Recent reports in the media that athletes will be forced to bear the costs of ‘COVID testing’ are incorrect and irresponsible.”
The report began making rounds on Twitter after MMA journalist Ariel Helwani shared a copy of it. Earlier, the reporter claimed fighters and corners would be responsible for covering the costs for the testing.
Nonetheless, the promotion has clarified that it will continue testing every participant twice during the fight week. The fighters will not be responsible for charges of these tests either.
The new policy will be put in place immediately.
This means that fighters and cornermen involved in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 199 card will have to oblige to the orders. Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus will headline the event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.