There is no embed option for this video, so I’ll just supply a link to its location on the UFC site. It’s about an hour long, so check it out if you’re interested. It looks like the UFC has gone with the USADA in lieu of WADA/VADA, probably because they got a better deal for this vast number of tests. These new standards for punishing athletes caught doping go into place as of July 1st, 2015, the sanctions outlined by Jeff Novitzky – USADA VIP of Athlete Health and Performance are briefly outlined below.
Non-specified substances (steroids, growth hormones, blood doping, etc)
First offense: 2 year suspension with a possible 4 year suspension under “aggravated circumstances” (Concealment, Fleeing, Tampering)
Second offense: Double that penalty up to 8 years
Third offense: Possible lifetime ban
Specified substances (marijuana, cocaine, other stimulants and glucocorticosteroids) testing in-competition only (from 6 hours before the weigh in, to 6 hours after the fight)
First offense: 1-year suspension with an addition 2-year suspension under “aggravated circumstances” (Concealment, Fleeing, Tampering)
Second offense: Double the sanction for first offense
Third offense: Double the sanction for second offense
- Violations can result in disqualification, forfeit of ranking, title and purse.
- All fines/forfeited purses will go toward funding the anti-doping program, as well as R&D for improved testing.
- Fighters will constantly need to be available for testing, to the point of disclosing their every movements for as long as they are an active fighter (both in and out of competition).
Wow, this is an incredibly bold move! And I don’t just mean in terms of cleaning up the sport. The really bold part is the imposition made upon on what is essentially athletic commission stomping grounds. There are a litany of issues here, I mean, is drug testing for professional sports really something you can just jump into and start calling the shots? There are gov’t funded regulatory bodies in the equation here, how is this even possible? A questioner asked whether he, after failing a drug test, would be subject to punishment from both USADA and the local athletic commission – to which, Lawrence Epstein – USADA Sr. Executive VP and COO replied (below)
“A lot these things still have to be worked out” , “Our hope is that athletic commissions will use our data to make their decisions”, “The other thing that is important to us, is that ultimately we have athletic commissions formally recognize and adopt the decisions made by USADA”
-Lawrence Epstein – USADA Sr. Executive VP and COO
Is it just me, or is that incredibly strange? It hasn’t been worked out yet? lol seriously? So they’re just leapfrogging the athletic commissions, making decisions, and most importantly – collecting the money from FINES??? You’re not taking the revenue away from the athletic commissions, that’s for damn sure, so this must be above and beyond the commission’s slice of the pie. Even so, very strong words from Epstein here, and very presumptuous of USADA to think they can just swoop in and take the reins here. I see some serious opposition arising here, but let’s assume that doesn’t happen, let’s assume all the different commissions are fine with relinquishing their power – How do you adopt this nationwide? not to mention internationally… I’m no expert in law, let alone sports law, let alone US sports law… but all these commissions are separate bodies, they answer to different courts and authorities under the law. There is an enormous amount of red tape to cut through in order to standardize these sanctions, and they haven’t even begun the process.
I really don’t know how to feel about this… I’m all in favor of cleaning up the sport, and maybe this is the way to do it. They seem to have taken a “better to ask for forgiveness, than ask for permission” strategy in tackling this issue. Although, ensuring that there are many bodies, individuals and authorities watching over athletics has always limited the amount of influence that can be exerted upon a sport. Granted, there is always corruption, but it’s way easier to influence a single institution compared to thousands of individuals.