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USADA vows to do ‘everything in its power’ to drug test fighters for UFC 249

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Anti-Doping Hearing Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

How do you drug test a fighter while maintaining social distancing?

With good aim and/or lots of practice, perhaps, though I’m not sure United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is going to make much of an effort for the UFC 249 pay-per-view (PPV) event on April 18, 2020, in Lemoore, Calif., simply because most of the state is shut down to help combat the spread of coronavirus.

“With all consideration to athlete safety and logistical challenges, we’re going to do everything in our power to conduct UFC event testing,” USADA spokesperson Adam Woullard told Marc Raimondi. “Just like the referees in the Octagon, our doping control officers are an essential part of a fair fight.”

With all of collegiate and professional sports at a standstill, there isn’t anyone around for USADA to test. It can still perform out-of-competition testing; however, that would require agents to be traveling around the country when most of the nation is being asked to remain indoors.

“Effective immediately, USADA will focus only on mission-critical testing of athletes in sports still competing,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said (via MMA Fighting). “When making decisions about our current testing programs, we are being conservative and cautiously rational as we put your health and well-being and that of our own team, including our doping control officers as the highest priority.”

How those officers get to “Fight Island” has yet to be determined.