UFC raises threshold for marijuana, NSAC panel may follow


Earlier this month UFC officials announced lightweight Pat Healy would lose $130,000 in performance bonuses after testing positive for Marijuana metabolites. There is a general feeling in the sport that while the rules are the rules and must be enforced, stringent prohibitions on marijuana are not in keeping with sweeping changes in the way sociey views marijuana use.

"Society is changing, it's a different world now," said UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner on March. "States are legalizing marijuana and it's becoming more and more of a problem with fighters testing positive and the metabolites.

"Right now I just cannot believe that a performance enhancing drug and marijuana can be treated the same.  It just doesn't make sense to the world anymore and it's something that has to be brought up."

One quick solution to the problem, was presented by the The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which recently upped the standards for a positive test, to prevent fighters from competing while high, but not penalizing those fighters that choose to engage in marijuana on a recreation, or prescription basis. Under the new standard, the marijuana testing threshold will be raised from 50 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL.

Now, the UFC has raised the testing threshold for marijuana, and a Nevada State Athletic Commission panel considers similar move.

MMAJunkie's John Morgan has the story.

UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner revealed the company's decision during today's meeting of the Nevada State Athletic Commission's Steroid and Drug Testing Advisory Panel, which took place in Las Vegas.

"When we self-regulate around the world, we are going to go the WADA standard of 150," Ratner said. "So we're starting that immediately."

The UFC often acts as its own regulating body when competing in foreign territories lacking an official sanctioning organization.

Ratner told MMAjunkie.com the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission – or Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA) – which regulates UFC events in Brazil, has also agreed to the same standard and will make the change at next week's UFC on FUEL TV 10 event in Fortaleza.

The goal of the change is to make a more concerted effort to catch marijuana users who are competing under the influence of marijuana rather than those who have taken the drug in the days or even weeks before a fight and are left with the metabolite in their system.

The NSAC's Steroid and Drug Testing Advisory Panel also discussed potential suggestions for revisions to the commission's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, including testosterone and steroids.

Among the changes being considered are:
•Lowering the acceptable level of an athlete's testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels from 6-to-1 to 4-to-1:
•The addition of testing for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG):
•Recommendations to require a hematologic passport (or hematocrit); and,
•The requirement for out-of-competition tests to include both urine and blood samples.

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Recent Comments »

Apache69 site profile image  

6/2/13 3:02 AM by Apache69

Wouldn't you think that you would want to blaze up/eat to help calm the nerves, help sleep, pain, inflammation etc as close as you could to fight time?

Shinsplint site profile image  

6/2/13 12:00 AM by Shinsplint

ed zachary

chaplinshouse site profile image  

6/1/13 2:51 PM by chaplinshouse

ufc takes away 130K from a man who probably had 130,005 in his bank account follows it up by announcing weed isn't a big deal or performance enhancing makes sense

willienugget site profile image  

6/1/13 11:31 AM by willienugget

His declaration did come off a little unscientific but shit give the guy a break. "Let's see the olympics allow 15, we're at 50 and this fuckin guy holy hell he broke fucking scale!"

HexRei site profile image  

6/1/13 11:27 AM by HexRei

175, which Alamo did say he felt was high enough that it qualified as PED (which I disagree with).

HexRei site profile image  

6/1/13 11:25 AM by HexRei

It is mind-altering, so fighters shouldn't be under the influence in the cage, whether it helps or hinders. The rules exist to protect everyone, including the fighter using the substance.

willienugget site profile image  

6/1/13 11:22 AM by willienugget

Interesting tidbit: You could be high as a kite and pass your test if you were clean before you smoked as it is undetectable for hours after use.

willienugget site profile image  

6/1/13 11:18 AM by willienugget

For users like Nick Diaz: You're going to need some preparation time to pass a urine test. "In regular users, metabolite levels can build up to background levels above 1,000 ng/ml."For occasional smokers: If you smoked less than 24 hours ago you might be in trouble. You should be safe at 48 hours.http://www.canorml.org/healthfacts/drugtestguide/drugtestdetection.html#utimeMany of the questions being asked simply can't be answered as of yet. Much of the research done neither test for nor address rates of 150 n/ml and above. A lot of them are only looking at whether a threshhold is reached rather than an actual number.

UGSlapshot site profile image  

6/1/13 2:37 AM by UGSlapshot

Three or four weeks clean vs one and a half or two is my guess. It's not going to stop anyone from burning a hole in the cup if they smoke the night before but I recon they assume if its only a week or two fighters should be able to get clean.

UGSlapshot site profile image  

6/1/13 2:26 AM by UGSlapshot