UFC raises marijuana testing threshold after WADA change

Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

The UFC has decided to raise the marijuana testing threshold for the events they self-regulate, following WADA's decision to do the same.

It looks like one of the more draconian rules that UFC fighters were forced to follow will undergo a big change. After the World Anti-Doping Agency raised the threshold for marijuana drug tests, the UFC has decided to do the same for the events that they self-regulate. In addition to that, Brazil's commission (CABMMA) will do the same, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission is considering the change as well. MMA Junkie explains:

In standing true to their stance on the regulation of cannabis use in the sport, UFC officials have decided to raise the testing threshold for marijuana metabolites from 50 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL – a mark the World Anti-Doping Agency also recently deemed sufficient.

UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner revealed the company's decision during today's meeting of the Nevada State Athletic Commission's Steroid and Drug Testing Advisory Panel, which took place in Las Vegas.

"When we self-regulate around the world, we are going to go the WADA standard of 150," Ratner said. "So we're starting that immediately."

I had actually thought the original UFC standard was 15 ng/ml, which was the WADA standard beforehand. They raised theirs tenfold. Either way, 150 ng/ml is a lot higher and it means that fighters won't have to worry as much about this. According to the article, NSAC is considering making PED revisions as well:

The NSAC's Steroid and Drug Testing Advisory Panel also discussed potential suggestions for revisions to the commission's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, including testosterone and steroids. The committee is expected to draft an official recommendation in the next few weeks in hopes of bringing those to the full commission in July.

Among the changes being considered are lowering the acceptable level of an athlete's testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels from 6-to-1 to 4-to-1, the addition of testing for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), recommendations to require a hematologic passport (or hematocrit) and the requirement for out-of-competition tests to include both urine and blood samples.

No matter what, this is a good day for the sport. Marijuana is obviously not a performance enhancer, and their ability to go along with WADA so quickly should be commended. I'm sure Pat Healy feels like it might have come along a little too late though.

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