UFC has had a wild 24 hours and now, more shocking news has hit. USADA, UFC’s current anti-doping program, has revealed that UFC has informed them on Monday that as of January 1, 2024, UFC will no longer use the USADA program.
UFC And USADA Cut Ties
UFC has been using USADA to drug test their fighters for years, but USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart has put out a statement saying that the partnership is over come years end, but also confirms Conor McGregor is in the testing pool. You can read the full statement below.
“We can confirm that Conor McGregor has re-entered the USADA testing pool as of Sunday, October 8, 2023. We have been clear and firm with the UFC that there should be no exception given by the UFC for McGregor to fight until he has returned two negative tests and been in the pool for at least six months. The rules also allow USADA to keep someone in the pool longer before competing based on their declarations upon entry in the pool and testing results.
Unfortunately, we do not currently know whether the UFC will ultimately honor the six-month or longer requirement because, as of January 1, 2024, USADA will no longer be involved with the UFC Anti-Doping Program. Despite a positive and productive meeting about a contract renewal in May 2023, the UFC did an about-face and informed USADA on Monday, October 9, that it was going in a different direction.
We are disappointed for UFC athletes, who are independent contractors who rely on our independent, gold-standard global program to protect their rights to a clean, safe, and fair Octagon. The UFC’s move imperils the immense progress made within the sport under USADA’s leadership.
The relationship between USADA and UFC became untenable given the statements made by UFC leaders and others questioning USADA’s principled stance that McGregor not be allowed to fight without being in the testing pool for at least six-months. One UFC commentator echoed this, recently declaring that USADA should not oversee the UFC program since we held firm to the six-month rule involving McGregor, and since we do not allow fighters without an approved medical basis to use performance-enhancing drugs like experimental, unapproved peptides or testosterone for healing or injuries simply to get back into the Octagon.
Fighters’ long-term health and safety – in addition to a fair and level playing field – are more important to USADA than short-term profits at the expense of clean athletes. USADA is proud of the work we’ve done over the past eight years to clean up the UFC, and we will continue to provide our unparalleled service to UFC athletes through the remainder of our current contract which ends December 31, 2023. As always, we will continue to uphold the rights and voices of clean athletes in all sports.”
It is unknown as of this writing what program UFC will go with next, but a shocking turn of events has USADA and UFC cutting ties for the new year.
From: Brady Alexander