Well it looks like the CSAC is beginning to make some much needed changes to some outdated regulations
A. Informative Digest
1. Amend section 303. Currently rule 303 prohibits the use of any drugs, alcohol, stimulants, or injections before or during a match. This proposed amendment would modify currently prohibited substances by allowing the use of salbutamol (maximum 1600 micrograms over 24 hours) and salmeterol by inhalation; a Beta-2 agonist (asthma medication).
2. Adopt section 303.1. Currently, there is no exemption to allow an athlete to use a medically prescribed drug that may be necessary to maintain the athlete’s health. This proposal would establish an exemption process and provide the necessary authority to the commission to allow an athlete to use a medically prescribed drug that is necessary to maintain their health, before or during a match, provided said usage does not provide an advantage to the athlete during competition
Salbutamol is technically a steroid which is common place in asthma medications. Asthma is comparable to having some sort of traumatic accident that severely injures a certain function of your body but it’s completely possible to get full function back with physical therapy. The asthma is the injury and the Salbutamol is the psychical therapy. It functions exactly the same as the therapy, the inhaler is used on a daily basis to open the airway and help you breathe properly but over a long period of use it strengthens the lungs to allow you to cease use once your airway is able to function at a normal level without the use of the Salbutamol. So yes a quick spray from an inhaler is definitely a game changer, you’re going to get psychically tired but your airway is going to stay wide open allowing you to keep the oxygen flowing at a higher rate than the guy across the cage from you.
I completely understand the fact that some rules need to be adjusted in order to accommodate the fighters that have legit medical conditions that do require medications that might be on the list of banned substances. How many fighters have gone off their necessary meds for extended periods of time just to make sure their pre or post fight test come back clean? How many fighters have come back from something like a blown ACL only to re injure it due to the fact they weren't able to or choose not to take the prescribed steroids for fear of failing a test. I've read many interviews where fighters rushed themselves back to work because they were broke. This is how they make a living so the pressure is there to get back in the cage a.s.a.p. and if they fail a drug test not only will they be out of work for a minimum of 6 months but they stand a chance to lose up to 40% of their paycheck depending on the offense.
I did find one huge fault with the adjustments that the CSAC is proposing to make to rule 303
necessary authority to the commission to allow an athlete to use a medically prescribed drug that is necessary to maintain their health, before or DURING a match
How long till we see fighters abusing this rule like they do with TRT treatments we hear about so often. How long will it take for hundreds new cases of asthma or bronchospasm to develop in MMA? Your fighters gassed and gasping going into the third round… Good thing he has that exemption right? Let’s put it like this, they wouldn’t allow Nick Diaz to take a bong rip in between rounds would they? The change in the rule is probably coming from a formal complaint made by an asthmatic fighter. This really is a much needed adjustment to a set of out dated regulations but it still needs a little tweaking to make sure it serves its actual purpose, their are other medications that need to be looked at in this situation. Overall it seems like the CSAC is dropping the ball on this one by not looking at change as a whole but instead focusing on a single medication. Let’s hope 303.1 doesn’t just become some loophole for fighters to get a one up on their opponent in the later rounds. The hearing is set for April 12th, 2012 at 10a.m. so there’s still time for some adjustments to be made.