Jessica Eye details circumstances around positive marijuana test


Earlier this month, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which regulates mixed martial arts in the Lone Star State, announced they had fined UFC women's bantamweight Jessica Eye $1,875, changed her split decision win over Sarah Kaufman to a No Contest, and subjected her to an administrative suspension that ensures she pays the fine, and otherwise complies with TDLR requirements. The cause of the sanctions was a positive test for marijuana following her fight with Kaufman at UFC 166 in October.

At a recent media event, UFC president Dana White related information about the test.

Brett Okamoto ‏@bokamotoESPN
According to Dana, Jessica Eye had 16 ng/ML marijuana metabolites. Texas threshold is 15. Most states are 50. Nevada is 150 ng/ML.

Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs have a cutoff of 50 ng/ML. World Anti-Doping Agency has a threshold of 150 ng/ML. Eye was at 11% of the level that would have been okay for the Olympics. No fighter should compete high, or for that matter drunk, but penalizing someone for 16 ng/ML is a vestigial regulation.

A letter from Eye to the TDLR was obtained by through an Open Records Request, and in it, the fighter details that the positive test was due to second hand smoke.

November 22, 2013

Dear Mrs. Winston,

I am writing you today in regards to my recent test results from UFC 166 in Houston. I first wanted to thank you in advance for your time and for allowing me the opportunity to explain my position. As one of the few professional female athletes currently competing in the UFC, I can't express you how upset and more than disappointed I am in myself for even being in this situation. I have worked extremely hard at my craft over the last 6 plus years to put myself in a position of influence where I really feel I can make a difference in not only our sport but beyond. I consider myself a role model and understand that as a professional athlete who is competing at the highest level of his or her sport, that I also have an obligation to be a leader and positive role model. The reason I tell you this is so you can understand how crushing this has been for me. Beyond the opportunity to make a living doing something I love to do, to me its more important to have the opportunity to continue to be a role model and affective people in a positive way.

Mrs. Winston, I assure you that I am not nor have I ever been the type of person to put anything unhealthy in body, let alone and illegal narcotic. In addition, I am well aware of the other athletes who have thrown away their careers over substance abuse issues and I could never understand how someone in that position would risk jeopardizing their career over drugs or alcohol.

I am not the type of person who makes excuses and can admit Im wring when Ive made a mistake. In this case, the mistake I made was trusting my family and not trusting my instincts sooner. From the time I was a teenager, my father and I have not been on the best of terms due to his own substance abuse issues which I was forced to move out of his home when I was a 18. As a young girl I saw the damage and destruction drugs and alcohol can cause and how it can tear a family apart. Well my family was not immune and unfortunately it took a very ugly incident recently to finally allow me to move forward with my life without my father.

Approximately 4 weeks or so prior to my UFC debut in Houston, I had decided to give my father another chance to get back into my life. As you can understand, I was very emotional leading up to my fight and was eager for any support I could get from family, friends and especially my father. After numerous apologies and attempts to make amends with me, I finally decided to give my father another chance and attend a family get together in my honor which he hosted at his residence, The get together involved mostly family members form his side along with many of my friends and even a few of my sponsors who had all come together to watch the fight the evening. What transpired that night , will be with me for my entire life and is what I feel may have led to the traces of marijuana that were found to be in my system.

Upon arrival at my fathers house, I noticed immediately that they had been drinking. Against my better judgment, I decided to stay and avoid another confrontation with my father especially with anyone else in attendance. As the evening progressed, the alcohol would eventually turn into marijuana. As my father and several of his friends began to smoke in the living room where we were watching the UFC, I politely asked him to stop smoking or id be forced to leave. Not only did he refuse, but he became irate and began to physically attack me in front of all of our guests. Luckily my friends and brother were able to separate us and get m out of there relative unharmed, but this would surely be one of the darkest and most humiliating moments of my life. Needless to say, I did not call the police in order to avoid this getting out in public as I knew I need to be distraction free heading into the biggest fight of my career. Looking back, I truly wish I would have filed a report not my benefit, but to share my story with others in hopers of stopping this from happening to even one other person. I sincerely feel this is what led to my test results as I have been around any other smokers for years prior to or since that night.

Mrs. Winston, I am not claiming to be completely innocent and realize I am in this position because of my actions. But I will tell you with all sincerity that I would never, ever gamble with my career or take for granted the opportunities I have in front of me. I would even ask you to contact Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato who Im confident will validate what I am writing you as far as my family history and this particular incident. Since then, ive actually gone public with my story and did an in depth interview with a reporter who went ahead and published an article about my relations with my father. Id be happy to forward this article to you upon request.

In closing, id like to thank you again for your time and consideration with this matter. Please get back to me or my manager Greg and let us know what the next step in the process will be. I am eager to put this behind me and start the next positive chapter of my life and what I hope will be a long career with the UFC.


Jessica Eye

Multiple studies have shown that 16 ng/ML is consistent with passive smoking:
•The first study was conducted by Perez-Reyes and co-workers in 1983. (1-3) The study consisted of three different experiments; one conducted in an automobile, and two in a small room. Of the specimens collected for analysis, two specimens were found positive for THC metabolites by the EMIT screening test at a cutoff level of 20 ng/ml.
•Morland et al. (5) performed a study in which subjects in a car smoked marijuana... The subjects passively exposed to marijuana smoke did show occasional urine specimens that were positive at concentrations ranging from 14 to 30 ng/ml of total THC metabolites.

Shortly after the incident described above, Eye's father Randy, 55, was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme, the same form of brain cancer that Ted Kennedy succumbed to. The pair have since reconciled.

"I’m mad at myself for maybe not noticing things sooner myself, that maybe the reason why he was acting the way he was was because of the tumor," said Eye in an interview with "They even said that the tumor was changing his behavior and it was. He’s always kind of a testy person, but it was making him very aggravated and distant, and I couldn’t understand it. He just wasn’t the same. So when I got the news about it, it brought down my world a little bit and made me feel real bad about the way things went down before my big debut. I’m very hopeful that I’m going to be back in the Octagon soon enough that my dad will get to actually see me.”

Eye's wish has come true, she fights Alexis Davis at UFC 170 on Saturday night at the top of the FOX Sports 1 portion of the card, which starts at 8:00 p.m.

Eye has set up a GoFundMe site to defray her father’s medical costs and aid in his fight.

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Recent Comments »

willienugget site profile image  

2/21/14 11:52 PM by willienugget

Good stuff. Damn there must be some really shitty weed on the street if the average is 7%. There's got to be tons of 2% shit out there.

KrmtDfrog site profile image  

2/21/14 11:35 PM by KrmtDfrog

Cannabis in Sport – Anti-Doping PerspectiveSports Med. 2011 November 1; 41(11): 949–966. data document that THCCOOH concentrations following passive THC inhalation under less than extreme experimental conditions do not exceed the threshold value of THCCOOH 15 ng/mL by GCMS.When 16 cannabis cigarettes were simultaneously burned, the smoke was so dense that goggles were required. Under these extreme experimental conditions, only one of seven individuals produced urine specimens with THCCOOH concentrations >15 ng/mL by GCMS after a single exposure, while other subjects required multiple exposures to these high THC room air concentrations to surpass this threshold. Furthermore, following the second 1-hour exposure to the smoke of 16 cigarettes, positive psychoactive effects were experienced by the passive inhalers, effects that were absent during passive inhalation of smoke produced by four cannabis cigarettes.the average THC content in most street cannabis is 6–7% and the passive exposure conditions required to produce positive urine tests are unrealistic.Also of note:Thus, in cannabis users smoking less frequently than daily, a positive urine cannabinoid test would likely be positive for <4 days. However, when an individual smokes cannabis daily for an extended period, it is possible to have a positive urine specimen for at least 4 weeks.

jacktripper site profile image  

2/21/14 10:03 PM by jacktripper

I don't believe her but I support her

Farthammer site profile image  

2/21/14 9:46 PM by Farthammer

Kirik, don't be obtuse. People are mad at her for blowing up at one of the best MMA journalists out there, Brent Brookhouse, and accusing him of lying and at the same time lying herself.No one gives a shit about her positive weed test.

TheVileOne site profile image  

2/21/14 9:40 PM by TheVileOne

Listen, I think the testing for weed is messed up and they should loosen the standards as the UFC does overseas and I think other states as well. But seriously, are we really supposed to believe it was a false positive due to secondhand smoke? I'm sorry but I just can't believe she's that naive about her body.

Team GDP site profile image  

2/21/14 7:38 PM by Team GDP

exactly. i mean she could have just confirmed she failed for weed. there was no need for her to disclose that it was because of her father and this '2nd hand smoke' all she needed to do was not lie about it and she would have been fine.

Morpheus1976 site profile image  

2/21/14 7:33 PM by Morpheus1976

she looked "smoking hot" at the weigh ins, hehehe

chew22 site profile image  

2/21/14 6:43 PM by chew22

A fine display of penmanship that basically says:"It wasn't my weed. And I didn't inhale".Sounds legit.

Morpheus1976 site profile image  

2/21/14 6:33 PM by Morpheus1976

does she actually pay her manager? since he did nothing for her in this case.

TheVileOne site profile image  

2/21/14 6:10 PM by TheVileOne

I'm not buying it. Dave Herman used the same excuse.