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UFC announces key changes to its anti-doping policy

Dana White speaks during a press conference after

Dana White speaks during a press conference after UFC 244 on Nov. 2, 2019 at Madison Square Garden. Credit: Anna Sergeeva

The UFC announced changes to its anti-doping policy Monday designed to provide clarity and guidance to fighters after numerous positive test results connected to contaminated substances.

The UFC and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which manages the UFC’s anti-doping program, have agreed to multiple changes in the policy following a review by the organizations as well as independent experts and consultants, according to a UFC news release.

The policy now includes a specific list of substances prohibited by the promotion, each of which has been assigned a threshold at which the substance would provide performance-enhancing benefits. Should a fighter test positive for a banned substance below the set threshold, it will be treated as an “atypical finding,” as opposed to an “adverse analytical finding,” and will not result in punishment unless other evidence of doping exists.

“Putting forth a fair anti-doping program with due process protection is integral to having a strong and comprehensive program,” Jeff Novitzky, UFC Senior VP of Athlete Health and Performance, said in a news release. “A combination of the pervasiveness of low level contaminates in our environment and the increased levels of testing sensitivity of anti- doping laboratories has created an explicit need for decision concentration levels to ensure that the program is penalizing intentional cheaters and not those athletes who have been faithfully adhering to the anti-doping policy.”

The UFC’s policy also states that athletes only should use supplements certified by one of five accrediting agencies: NSF Certified for Sport, Kolner Liste (Cologne list), Informed Sport Trusted by Sport, HASTA and BSCG.

If there is no evidence of doping outside to complement an atypical finding and a positive result is determined to be the caused by a certified supplement or other outside contamination, there will be no sanctions against the fighter.

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