The UFC representatives officially announced that the anti-doping policy of the organization is changed. The main and the most significant change is that since now UFC won’t reveal the results of the anti-drug tests before a case is checked and verified by USADA. The results will only become published after the final conclusion of USADA and deciding on a punishment for each particular case.
However, if a UFC test showed that a fighter takes forbidden drugs or takes certain medication wrongly, the sportsman will be unable to fight. In this case, the organization won’t name an official reason for banning a sportsman from participating in UFC events.
The decision was taken after some sportsmen repeatedly complained that revealing the information about them being suspected in taking forbidden drugs had a negative impact on their reputation and relationship with fans and partners. The great example is a case of Junior dos Santos who was blamed for taking forbidden doping. After a detailed USADA checks the sportsman was not found guilty as he didn’t take any forbidden drugs intentionally.
These changes are made to protect the sportsmen’s rights and to decide their cases avoiding public pressure. According to a recent report made by UFC vice president Jeff Novitzky, 34% of cases when fighters failed anti-doping tests were connected with unintentional usage of a small amount of forbidden components. In many cases, the components were found in daily supplements that were certified and sold to people unrestrictedly. Many sportsmen could have no idea they were taking something forbidden.
The UFC representatives also informed that those sportsmen, who are found to take forbidden drugs unintentionally, would also get a fighting ban for a certain period of time. However, it would be simply unfair to set the same punishment for the fighters who took some doping unintentionally and those, who took the drugs with clear intention.
These changes make the UFC anti-doping policy closer to the one used for US Olympic athletes.
The changes were implemented in July 2018, however, there has been no official announcement of this information until recently.