Blended martial arts promoter Final Preventing Championship and the USA Anti-Doping Company introduced on Thursday that marijuana would now not be banned for fighters generally. UFC and USADA officers mentioned that they’ve made important adjustments “within the dealing with of hashish and its naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds.”
Beneath the brand new coverage, constructive exams for carboxy-THC, a metabolite of the cannabinoid, would now not be a violation “until further proof exists that an athlete used it deliberately for performance-enhancing functions.”
“Whereas we need to proceed to stop athletes from competing underneath the affect of marijuana, we now have discovered that blood and/or urine ranges of carboxy-THC have little to no scientific correlation to impairment,” UFC senior vp of athlete well being and efficiency Jeff Novitzky said in an announcement. “THC is fat-soluble, which means that after ingested, it’s saved in fatty tissues and organs within the physique and will be launched again into the blood or urine, typically lengthy after ingestion.”
“The underside line is that with regard to marijuana, we care about what an athlete consumed the day of a battle, not days or even weeks earlier than a battle, which has usually been the case in our historic constructive THC instances,” he added.
Novitsky mentioned regardless of the time THC spends within the physique, the results of hashish are felt for hours, not days. He additionally famous that there is no such thing as a correlation between the extent of THC in an athlete’s physique and impairment.
“Why the hell can we care what somebody did per week earlier than, not to mention an evening earlier than, when it doesn’t have any impact on their capacity to battle,” Novitzky said to ESPN.
Excessive Burden of Proof
The coverage units the burden of proof for the USADA to sanction a fighter for a constructive THC check very excessive, basically eliminating punishment for marijuana use. Novitzky mentioned the USADA must show a fighter was impaired by hashish instantly earlier than a battle to be able to impose a punishment.
“I can’t consider one occasion in any historic instances the place that proof has been there,” Novitzky mentioned. “It could most likely require visible indicators if the athletes present up at an occasion stumbling, smelling like marijuana, eyes bloodshot, issues like that. And that’s … one thing you not often, if ever, see. I definitely haven’t in my six years with the UFC.”
Novitzky famous that primarily based on discussions with athletes, a major share of fighters use hashish, many for medical fairly than leisure functions.
“Many use it for ache management, anti-anxiety, to sleep, in lieu of extra harmful, extra addictive medicine, he mentioned, including “it has no impact by any means on a contest on Saturday night time, so it’s the precise transfer, and I’m actually enthusiastic about this revision and that particular coverage change.”
“This modification is designed to prioritize fighter well being and security by not punishing fighters who might have therapy for substance abuse, which can result in a fighter being impaired and jeopardize his or her security within the Octagon,” the USADA mentioned in a press launch.