After the UFC announced its plans to fund a far more extensive drug testing program earlier this year, today, the promotion announced what independent organization will be leading the way.
The UFC confirmed at a press conference today in Las Vegas that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will oversee its new drug testing regiment. The program, which will include random drug testing both in and out of competition, is expected to kick off July 1st.
In addition, the UFC unveiled new suspension policies, and in keeping with the Nevada Commission’s recent changes, they are much more severe.
According to a follow up report from MMA Fighting.com, here are the details.
Fighters who test positive for “non-specified” substances like anabolic steroids, growth hormones, blood doping drugs and methods, will receive a two year suspension. In certain, more serious cases (previous offenses, multiple substance etc), the UFC could suspend a fighter for four years.
Fighters who test positive for these types of substances once again, will receive double the suspension, and third time offenders will be hit with double the sanction of their second offense.
In terms of “specified” substances like marijuana, cocaine, and stimulants, first time offenders will be suspended for one year. If “aggravating circumstances” are deemed to exist, they could be suspended for two years. Repeat offenders will also be handed twice the previous sanction.
Tests for “non-specified” substances will be conducted in and out of competition, while tests for the latter category will only be conducted in competition.
In addition, offenders will be fined of their purse, stripped of their ranking and title. Purse withdrawals and fines that are enacted will be put towards the UFC’s anti-doping program.
So, there you go. Now it will be really interesting to see how this unfolds in the next year or so.