Republished from the Combat Sports Law Blog
On September 21 the UFC will host its third event in Ontario with UFC 165.
Although there are occasional drug test controversies in the sport, when the UFC comes to Ontario the biggest controversy may be the lack of mandatory drug tests. Why is this the case? In Ontario the Athletics Control Act Regulation which governs the sport of professional MMA does not require mandatory drug testing. Instead, section 17.1 of the Regulation only requires drug tests to be performed by the commission if the contract between the fighter and the promoter "requires the participant to undergo a drug test". The full section reads as follows:
17.1 If a contract between a participant in a professional contest or exhibition and the person holding the contest or exhibition requires the participant to undergo a drug test on the day of the contest or exhibition, the Commissioner shall, on request, oversee the administering of the test and the person holding the contest or exhibition shall pay for the costs of administering the test. O. Reg. 465/10, s. 16.
If the terms of the leaked Eddie Alvarez contract are uniform for all UFC fighters there is no mandatory drug testing clause. Article VIII of the contract speaks to drug testing and only requires fighters to agree to "submit to any pre-Bout or post-Bout drug test as required by an Athletic Commission".
So, the Ontario commission can only require a fighter to have a drug test if their contract requires it and the contract only requires a fighter to be drug tested if the Athletic Commission requires it. It seems for UFC events in Ontario there simply is no power to require fighters to be tested for banned substances.