In a January 14 announcement, the United Fighting Championship (UFC) announced it will no longer screen fighters for THC—the psychoactive compound in cannabis that most smokers know and love.
A positive test for cannabis metabolites will no longer be considered a violation under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, unless additional evidence exists that an athlete used it intentionally for performance-enhancing purposes.
“While we want to continue to prevent athletes from competing under the influence of marijuana, and we have learned that urinary levels of carboxy-THC are highly variable after out-of-competition use and have poor scientific correlation to in-competition impairment,” UFC Senior Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky stated. “THC is fat soluble, meaning that once ingested, it is stored in fatty tissues and organs in the body and can be released back into the circulation, and consequently carboxy-THC appears in the urine, sometimes long after ingestion. It is therefore not an ideal marker in athletes to indicate in-competition impairment.”
The UFC also removed all other phytocannabinoids that are present in the cannabis plant from the UFC Prohibited List.
.@UFC announces changes to its Anti-Doping Policy. Read the full statement here :https://t.co/ilbL7g2oEM
— UFC News (@UFCNews) January 14, 2021
“The bottom line is that in regard to marijuana, we care about what an athlete consumed the day of a fight, not days or weeks before a fight, which has often been the case in our historic positive THC cases. UFC Athletes will still be subject to marijuana rules under various Athletic Commission regulations, but we hope this is a start to a broader discussion and changes on this issue with that group.”
Cannabis wasn’t the only alternative supplement to be updated. Informed Choice has been added as an approved dietary supplement certifier under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which gives UFC athletes an additional 400+ certified dietary supplement products that will be considered to be safe and protected.
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