The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) announced today that in most cases it will no longer punish mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters for using marijuana, which is a big change in its anti-doping policy.
The world’s largest company for the promotion of mixed martial arts stated that it will no longer consider positive tests for the psychoactive ingredient cannabis carboxide-THC, unless it believes that the fighter intentionally used marijuana to improve the performance in the duel.
All other cannabinoids naturally derived from marijuana are no longer banned substances, said UFC Vice President Jeff Nowitzki, in charge of athletes’ health and performance.
“The red line in terms of marijuana is to take care of what the athlete consumed on the day of the fight, not in the days or weeks before the fight, which was often the case with our previous THC positive cases,” Nowicki said.
The UFC’s decision will not affect the regulations of sports commissions of U.S. states and international bodies, but those groups often follow the decisions of promotional companies in anti-doping policy.
The UFC will not allow fighters to compete while under the influence of cannabinoids, but Nowicki stated that the company understands that MMA fighters often use marijuana to reduce pain or relaxation.
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