USADA Makes Big Procedural Changes To Testing
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was recently exposed for having flaws in their procedures. As a result, they have decided to make some serious changes.
Recently, the connection between USADA and the UFC has been brought into question. Incidents like the ones Jon Jones and Yoel Romero have gone through have become more commonplace. Subsequently, they decided to change the way they notified fighters of adverse findings.
However, this would backfire in the case of Nate Diaz. Ahead of his UFC 244 bout with Jorge Masvidal, USADA notified Diaz of an adverse finding in one of his tests, encouraging him to keep it quiet. Instead, Nate was very vocal, saying he would not compete unless cleared of these issues. A few days later, it was revealed that he was cleared of all accusations, and set to fight.
Following this incident, there have been questions around USADA and their testing procedure. It was clear that there were substances that were appearing in trace amounts in athlete samples. On the other hand, it was also clear that these were often unintentional, and clearly not providing any performance enhancement.
According to a report from MMAFighting, this has caused USADA to change their procedures for certain substances. The statement reveals that eight substances have been given a threshold. If an athlete tests positive for one of those substances, within that number, they will be flagged for an atypical finding. Although this will result in some additional testing and scrutiny, this will no longer cause any suspensions, preventing fighters from competing.
This is those eight substances:
- Clomiphene: 0.1 ng/mL1
- Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT) long-term metabolite (M3): 0.1 ng/mL
- Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and metabolites, Torsemide: 20 ng/mL (Out-of-Competition only)
- Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs): 0.1 ng/mL2
- GW-1516 (GW-501516) metabolites: 0.1 ng/mL
- Epitrenbolone (Trenbolone metabolite): 0.2 ng/mL
- Zeranol: 1 ng/mL
- Zilpaterol: 1 ng/mL
One other drug called Higenamine has been listed as a prohibited substance in-competition but not out-of-competition moving forward.
Although the CEO of USADA notes that the Nate Diaz situation is part of what caused these changes, they cite other issues along the way too. Nevertheless, it is clear that this is an approach that should have been looked at sooner. It would have saved the careers of some fighters.