UFC: Marijuana no longer a doping violation

News 15/01/2021

Been a long time coming!

The UFC’s anti-doping policy will no longer punish athletes for positive tests for carboxy-THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

UFC and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officials on Thursday announced significant modifications “in the handling of cannabis and its naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds.”

In short, positive tests for carboxy-THC, regardless of levels, will no longer be considered violations to the policy “unless additional evidence exists that an athlete used it intentionally for performance-enhancing purposes.”

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

Novitzky said athletes will still not be allowed to compete under the influence of marijuana, but that the UFC and USADA will rely on visual evidence of impairment and cognitive behavioral tests to make such determinations rather that any sort of blood level detection, which can often indicate usage well outside of the competition window.

“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.