UFC revises drug policy to combat contaminated supplements

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The UFC and United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) have made significant revisions to the promotion’s anti-doping policy in an effort to address concerns over an alarming rate of cases involving contaminated supplements.

The two major revisions, which the UFC announced Monday, are the adoption of a “UFC prohibited list,” which sets threshold limits on what constitutes a positive drug test for several banned substances, as well as a list of “certified supplements” that offer immunity to athletes in the event they are found to be contaminated.

“The policy needs to be a living, breathing document that’s progressive and allows us to pivot our stance, based on what the science supports,” UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell told ESPN. “Testing measures have gotten so good and the types of contaminants are changing constantly, you’re seeing a rise in these types of cases.”

Since the UFC partnered with USADA and launched its year-round drug testing program in 2015, a significant percentage of the cases involving failed drug tests have ultimately been linked to the ingestion of contaminated legal supplements, according to UFC senior vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky.

Essentially, the UFC and USADA have found that as drug testing technology advances — and is capable of detecting extremely trace amounts of banned substances — it is resulting in the punishment of athletes who have unknowingly consumed contaminated supplements and received no performance-enhancing benefits from them.

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