Calvillo suspended by NSAC for nine months for demon weed

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The United States is undergoing a major shift in the consumption of cannabis, with decriminalization and even legal recreational use rising. Never the less, athletic commissions and USADA still prohibit the use of recreational drugs in competition, which is reasonable – you shouldn’t fight high on cannabis or alcohol or anything. However,  because THC is stored in the body’s fat cells, it can last in the body at detectable limits for up to a month.

Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs have a cutoff of 50 ng/mL. USADA uses 180 ng/mL, and UFC strawweight Cynthia Calvillo tested at over 180 ng/mL, at an in-competition test at UFC 219 in Las Vegas.

USADA responded reasonably, with a six-month period of ineligibility, which began on December 30, 2017, and could be reduced to a three-month period of ineligibility, pending the satisfactory completion of a USADA-approved drug awareness and management program. Unfortunately, Calvillo’s positive test also falls under the jurisdiction of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which imposed additional sanctions.

The NSAC has given Calvillo a nine-month suspension, and fined her 15 percent of her $41,000 purse ($6,150), plus an additional $436.08 in attorney’s fees. Prior to relicensing, Calvillo will have to submit three clean tests, and will have to have paid the fines, or made arrangments to do so.

Nevada has legalized the recreational use of cannabis. The NSAC has explored the possibility of removing it from the prohibited list. It would behoove them to do so at their early convenience. MMA has serious problems that demand the commission’s valuable time. Fighters smoking cannabis are none of them.