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USADA set to handle PFL drug testing by end of 2023

MMA: APR 01 PFL 1 Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages

Professional Fighters League (PFL) is ready to clean up its drug testing issues that have plagued the 2023 season.

ESPN confirmed this week (Tues., July 11, 2023) that the promotion has hired United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to handle fighter doping going forward. USADA famously was hired by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2015 and comes to PFL after 10 of the promotion’s 2023 competitors tested positive for banned substances in Las Vegas.

“This program is part of the PFL’s commitment as a fighter-first organization to supporting a safe, level playing field and advancing the highest levels of competition and the integrity of the sport,” PFL President, Ray Sefo, told ESPN.

Like in UFC, PFL fighters will be required to inform USADA of their whereabouts for sample collecting at all times. This protocol is to allow random drug testing and further enacts the ability to keep everyone clean. Violations can result in suspensions, which vary in length depending on the substance flagged.

“By the end of the year, a full testing pool will be implemented, and whereabouts filings will be required for all athletes,” USADA wrote to ESPN in a statement.

PFL’s last event concluded the 2023 regular season in Atlanta, Ga. The playoffs are set to begin in San Antonio, Tex. on Aug. 4, 2023, featuring Featherweights and Light Heavyweights.

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