UFC Reveals Comprehensive Anti-Doping Strategy For 2024 – In The “Post-USADA” Era

UFC Reveals Comprehensive Anti-Doping Strategy For 2024 – In The “Post-USADA” Era

In a significant move marking a new chapter in its commitment to clean competition, the UFC has revealed its comprehensive anti-doping program – which is set to commence on December 31, 2023.
This initiative follows the organization’s departure from its previous partnership with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

The foundation of the UFC’s message to its fighters is one of “continuity amidst change”.
The core tenets of the previous anti-doping policy largely remain intact, with a few nuanced adjustments however.

The most notable change lies in the operational aspect of drug testing. The UFC has now engaged Drug Free Sport International, a renowned agency also serving the NFL and Major League Baseball, to oversee the collection of samples from its extensive roster of over 600 fighters.
This change promises enhanced global coverage and maintains the rigorous standard of random, year-round testing.

The testing process will be conducted by the Sports Medicine and Research Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) in Utah, a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited facility.
Dr. Daniel Eichner, a distinguished anti-doping scientist, leads SMRTL – he has previously been involved in high-profile UFC cases, including that of heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

In instances of positive test results, the newly formed Combat Sports Anti-Doping (CSAD) entity, funded by the UFC, will administer sanctions.
This body is led by George Piro, a retired FBI agent with a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Piro’s role will be crucial in managing the administrative aspects of the program, ensuring that the UFC does not directly influence sanctioning decisions.

The UFC’s new program also maintains a list of banned substances aligned with WADA’s guidelines, with slight modifications in the thresholds for certain substances.
This adjustment aims to distinguish between intentional and unintentional exposure to low-level contaminants.