Healy fails post UFC 159 drug test; loses $130,000


Today it was revealed that UFC lightweight Pat Healy failed his post-fight drug test from UFC 159, testing positive for marijuana metabolites. Healy impressively finished top ranked Jim Miller in his UFC debut after moving over to the UFC from Strikeforce.

Healy today issued a statement courtesy of his management group:

"I would like to start off by apologizing to the UFC, Jim Miller, the MMA community, it's fans, my family, teammates and coaches for my positive testing for marijuana after my UFC 159 fight with Jim Miller. I was fully aware of the UFC and State Commissions drug policies and made poor life choices. I stand behind the UFC and the State Commission's disciplinary actions. I support efforts to make MMA and sports a clean, safe and fair place to compete.

First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge and take responsibility for my mistake. I made a very poor choice to socially use marijuana and now I must face the consequences of that choice. I can assure you that I will do everything the UFC and State Commission asks of me and beyond. I will also make a conscious effort to be a better role model within the MMA community."

What's even worse for Healy is that Zuffa has implemented a knew procedure to hold any bonuses paid until after fighters have passed drug tests. Healy earned both the fight of the night and submission of the night bonus against Jim Miller and now likely will not receive those bonus checks.


tags: Pat Healy   Jim Miller (detail)  UFC 159   


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HexRei site profile image  

5/17/13 1:32 PM by HexRei

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1642446-wada-changes-marijuana-testing-policy-state-commissions-could-be-next"Testing for marijuana in mixed martial arts has become one of the hottest subjects over the last few years. Fighters have tested positive for the drug numerous times, but as marijuana becomes a more socially and legally accepted substance, the rules surrounding the testing processes have come under fire.Most recently, UFC 159 fighter Pat Healy tested positive for marijuana, which changed his win over Jim Miller to a no-contest. He also lost $130,000 in bonus money he earned for Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night due to the UFC's new policy that no fighter can win post-fight bonuses if he tests positive for drugs.While some proponents for marijuana want to see the drug not even restricted by testing bodies like state athletic commissions, at the very least most agree that the testing policies should be changed.Even UFC vice president of regulatory affairs Marc Ratner has spoken out about changes that should be made regarding the use of marijuana in sports like MMA."Society is changing, it's a different world now than when I was on the commission. States are legalizing marijuana and it's becoming more and more of a problem with fighters testing positive and the metabolites," said Ratner when speaking in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission in March. "I think it's something that has to be discussed on a commission level now. 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."The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which oversees drug testing for events such as the Olympics, generally sets the standard in determining drugs that should be deemed as performance enhancing, drugs of abuse or otherwise. WADA also sets the limits for the amount of a substance that can be found in an athlete before the test triggers a red flag.According to Play True magazine, during a May 11 meeting, WADA's Executive Committee voted to increase the threshold for marijuana testing. The previous limit of 15 ng/mL was raised to a higher threshold of 150 ng/mL.Starting on May 11, any tests conducted by WADA that do not trigger a result at or above 150 ng/mL will not be considered a positive test for THC, the active ingredient tested for in marijuana.So how does this ruling potentially affect mixed martial arts?WADA is seen as the gold standard for testing policies on a worldwide level, but each individual state commission sets its own limits regarding substances such as marijuana. For instance, prior to the May 11 ruling, WADA flagged a test for anything above 15 ng/mL, whereas Nevada has had its limit at 50 ng/mL for more than a decade.The nanogram levels that trigger a red flag are based on the initial test for the drug. A typical analysis includes two separate tests.The first test looks for the nanogram levels that would be above a certain amount to flag a positive result. A second test is then run on the sample, looking specifically at the levels for the metabolite Delta-9-THC, which is the major psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.This new ruling by WADA to increase the acceptable nanogram levels in the initial testing phase could mark major changes to marijuana testing at state commissions, which oversee mixed martial arts competitions.According to Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer, who spoke with Bleacher Report on Thursday, the WADA ruling doesn't technically affect the state commission's own testing limits, but it increases the chances that rules may soon change.The Nevada commission was already planning on holding a hearing later this month to discuss the possibility of changing the marijuana testing rules for athletic competitions. This new WADA rule only strengthens the chances that the commission will recommend at the very least a higher level allowed when testing for marijuana."Going forward I mean we already did this once going from 15 ng to 50 ng about 10 years ago. I know this is something the panel will look at," Kizer stated. "They are already looking at going from 50 to something else, but this kind of cuts down on their homework."The panel that will hopefully meet during a tentatively scheduled May 31 meeting will then make a recommendation that will be taken to the full commission for a vote. Kizer is quick to point out that while WADA did change its testing limits, it did not vote to eliminate marijuana as a restricted drug, so it's not likely any commissions will overstep that particular boundary."It both strengthened the anti-marijuana stance by saying we're still going to have it as the same prohibitive substance, but it also lessened it by also saying we're going to try to fine tune the test to make it over 150 as opposed to 15," Kizer stated.Once the panel meets and comes up with a recommendation, it will likely land on the June or July agenda for the Nevada commission to vote on, and then the change would go into effect. The next step for Nevada will be the panel discussion likely to happen later this month, and a new testing limit could be set by the end of summer. While all commissions are able to set forth their own rules regarding testing, Nevada acts as one of the national leaders in the industry when it comes to policies regarding these matters, much like WADA does on the worldwide stage.Marijuana likely won't be removed from the restricted drug lists, but a higher limit for testing could be accepted very soon."

Zarogoza01 site profile image  

5/16/13 12:50 PM by Zarogoza01

You're absolutely right about that refuse to lose, all I'm saying is that is a lot of money and a hard lesson to learn. Hopefully the UFC will give him a chance to redeem himself quickly and earn back some of that lost currency.

Refuse to Lose site profile image  

5/16/13 11:49 AM by Refuse to Lose

By himself. We all have to be accountable for our actions and it's hard to blame the UFC for this one. This is also going to send a strong message to other fighters who will think twice before taking illegal substances before a fight.

HexRei site profile image  

5/16/13 11:36 AM by HexRei

Actually things have changed quite a bit in regard to legalization already. States with medical marijuana:(18) Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, California, Connecticut, DC (not actually a state, but close enough), Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachussets, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington. And all those states adopted their programs in the last fifteen years due to legislation passed by voters. Another twelve states have pending legislation. That means that ~40% of the US already has medical marijuana, and that number is likely to reach 66% in the next few years. 17 states also have decriminalization or legalization laws, which means you don't even need a medical card.There's little reason to believe the trend will slow or reverse, either. I guess someone's putting in the effort.

Zarogoza01 site profile image  

5/16/13 11:32 AM by Zarogoza01

Definitely a bad decision, but come on its a little pot and pat earned that money. Pat got screwed!

i remember halloween site profile image  

5/16/13 11:21 AM by i remember halloween

It won't change because the only people that are passionate about it are a bunch of lazy potheads who can probaby barely muster enough motivation to throw some incoherent and poorly thought out discourse onto the internet and then can't even intelligently defend it.

Stea1th site profile image  

5/16/13 10:59 AM by Stea1th

He lost the bonus because the match was turned to a no contest. He can't win for sub if he no longer has that on his record.

Stea1th site profile image  

5/16/13 10:58 AM by Stea1th

He lost the bonus because the match was turned to a no contest. He can't win for sub if he no longer has that on his record.

RampageFitsLikeAGlove site profile image  

5/16/13 10:53 AM by RampageFitsLikeAGlove

Can't lose something you never had.  Healy went into the Miller fight knowing he would be paid $17,500 to show with a $5,000 win bonus and nothing changed there. You keep stating you want change.  What avenues are YOU actively pursuing to have the federal law changed?