The UFC’s post-USADA drug testing system will begin on December 31st, 2023.
USADA’s CEO, Travis Tygart, confirmed on October 11th, 2023, that it would part ways with the UFC. The departure was controversial as USADA fired shots at the UFC over their approach to drug testing. USADA implied that the UFC was reluctant to have Conor McGregor comply with the guidelines of USADA testing. Fighters must provide two negative samples six months before they compete.
“The relationship between USADA and UFC became untenable given the statements made by UFC leaders and others questioning USADA’s principled stance that McGregor not be allowed to fight without being in the testing pool for at least six months,” USADAsaid
Since then, the UFC has hired Drug Free Sport International. It was chosen as an alternative to VADA, but Drug Free Sports International does have credibility. Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn previously spoke about the organization carrying out testing on some of his shows. The Combat Sports Anti Doping will oversee the process run by President George Piro. The new requirements are laid out below.
The UFC have revealed the details of their new anti-doping program that comes into effect on Sunday.
Documentation for the full policy, arbitration details, the prohibited list and information on therapeutic use exemptions and the whereabouts policy: https://t.co/GfGRSMo2pi pic.twitter.com/Rlok7Tn2W4
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) December 29, 2023
“UFC’s goal for the Anti-Doping Policy is to be the best, most effective, and most progressive anti-doping program in all of professional sports. UFC is proud of the advancements we have made with our anti-doping program over the past eight years, and we will continue to maintain an independently administered drug-testing program that ensures all UFC athletes are competing under fair and equal circumstances. With this new iteration of the program, UFC has once again raised the bar for health and safety in combat sports,” Hunter Campbell (UFC chief business offer)
“This latest UFC Anti-Doping Program is the result of our continued efforts to protect the athletes who compete in the Octagon. This new program is the result of years of input and trial and error taken by UFC, our athletes, and third parties who have assisted UFC in operating the program. The anti-doping policy is a living and breathing document that will continue to evolve and adapt when clear science supports changes that can further protect UFC athletes who compete in UFC,” Jeff Novitzky (UFC senior vice president of athlete health and performance)