‘We care about what an athlete consumed the day of a fight, not days or weeks before a fight’ – Major changes in UFC’s anti-doping policy

This will definitely be a welcome news for a truckload of fighters, as there are many who consume cannabis.

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Israel Adesanya

In a major turnaround for Cannabis consuming athletes, the UFC and USA Anti-Doping agency officials made significant changes to the way cannabis consumption would be dealt with, here onwards. So, consuming marijuana days or weeks before the fight would no longer be considered a violation, unless it is found to enhance the performance of the athlete directly.

This is definitely a welcome news for a lot of athletes, as they consume it for various purposes like recreation, pain control, anti-anxiety. Speaking about this, UFC’s senior vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky explained the modifications in detail.

Based on my informal discussion with athletes, there’s a significant number of percentage of athletes that choose to use marijuana‘ – Jeff Novitzky

Jeff Novitzky was quoted as saying, “While we want to continue to prevent athletes from competing under the influence of marijuana, we have learned that blood and/or urine levels of carboxy-THC have little-to-no scientific correlation to impairment. 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 blood or urine, sometimes long after ingestion.”

“The bottom line is that in regards 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,” Novitzky said.

He further stated, “Based on my informal discussion with athletes, there’s a significant number of percentage of athletes that choose to use marijuana, many for legitimate reasons outside of recreational. Many use it for pain control, anti-anxiety, to sleep, in lieu of more dangerous, more addictive drugs, so hopefully this being the first step to opening that up so that an athlete on Wednesday night of fight week instead of going to a Vicodin because their knee hurts and they can’t sleep can use a little bit of cannabis and get to sleep and have that pain control. It has no affect whatsoever on a competition on Saturday night, so it’s the right move, and I’m really excited about this revision and that specific policy change.”

What are your thoughts on this? Is it a good move by the UFC? How much of a positive impact will it have?

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