The suits at United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) are so busy patting themselves on the back for being “progressive” that they probably forgot when former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion, Frank Mir, told them three years ago to dial down the overly-sensitive drug testing.
Unfortunately for Mir, who since defected to Bellator MMA, he wasn’t a big enough draw to force decision makers to take action. Besides, it’s much easier to blame the athletes, something the promotion has been conditioning us to do for many years. Except, of course, when the pay-per-view (PPV) revenue is at stake.
But now that longtime fan favorite, Nate Diaz, told both UFC and USADA to kiss his grits after getting flagged by a UFC 244 pre-fight drug test, regulators were forced to overhaul the promotion’s anti-doping policy to allow for “atypical findings” that are cause for concern, but not necessarily an indicator of intent to cheat.
Below is a list of substances, as well as threshold levels, that qualify as atypical findings.
• Clomiphene: 0.1 ng/mL1
• Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT) long-term metabolite (M3): 0.1 ng/mL
• Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and metabolites, Torsemide: 20 ng/mL (Out-of-Competition only)
• Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs): 0.1 ng/mL2
• GW-1516 (GW-501516) metabolites: 0.1 ng/mL
• Epitrenbolone (Trenbolone metabolite): 0.2 ng/mL
• Zeranol: 1 ng/mL
• Zilpaterol: 1 ng/mL
Fighters who pop for the above substances within the allowable thresholds will not incur a provisional suspension; meaning, the athlete will first be notified and any scheduled fight will be allowed to proceed as planned while USADA investigates the finding.
“It’s a great evolution of the program and we’re actually hopeful other sports who are interested in protecting clean athletes more effectively and creating fairer systems, this will be the model for it and something we’ve been pushing both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and other programs for the past couple of years to try and do something along these lines,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart told MMA Fighting. “We’re excited about this next step and where this can lead anti-doping hopefully.”
Sounds great for everyone ... except the fighters who’ve already fallen under the sword (like this guy).