USADA Will No Longer Punish UFC Fighters For Marijuana Use
USADA will no longer be punishing UFC fighters for positive marijuana tests.
One big criticism of athletic commissions and USADA has been the penalties handed out to fighters for use of marijuana. There has been no evidence that suggests marijuana use enhances the performance of fighters or even leads to the impairment of athletes. Yet, fighters have been suspended and fined after the drug was found in their systems.
In a statement, UFC Senior Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky, issued a statement revealing that the UFC and USADA will no longer be handing out punishments to fighters who use marijuana (via MMAJunkie.com).
“While we want to continue to prevent athletes from competing under the influence of marijuana, we have learned that blood and/or urine levels of carboxy-THC have little-to-no scientific correlation to impairment,” UFC senior vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky said in a statement. “THC is fat soluble, meaning that once ingested, it is stored in fatty tissues and organs in the body and can be released back into the blood or urine, sometimes long after ingestion.”
Novitzky went on to say that the real issue boils down to whether or not the fighters used cannabis on the day of the fight as opposed to days or weeks prior.
“The bottom line is that in regards to marijuana, we care about what an athlete consumed the day of a fight, not days or weeks before a fight, which has often been the case in our historic positive THC cases.”
It’s important to note that athletic commissions can still punish fighters for marijuana use.