UFC Won't Report Positive Drug Tests Until Cases Have Been Heard
The UFC will "no longer announce a fighter has tested positive" for a banned substance until "after the case has been adjudicated," according to Kevin Iole of YAHOO SPORTS. No fighter will be "allowed to compete with a failed test, but it will be up to the fighter to determine whether or not to say why he/she is not fighting." UFC VP/Athlete Health & Performance Jeff Novitzky and Senior Exec VP and Chief Legal Officer Hunter Campbell discovered during research that a "third of all anti-doping cases that were adjudicated in the three years were found to be non-intentional use." There have been 62 cases in which there "was a positive test and then a final determination made," though 21 of them were "found to have been non-intentional violations." They were either the result of "ingesting a contaminated substance or food that was contaminated; or where the athlete was given a retroactive therapeutic-use exemption for medical reasons." Novitzky said that fairness and due process is "as important in the anti-doping program as its strength and comprehensiveness." Iole noted UFC fighter Sean O’Malley is an "example of the new policy." He was scheduled to fight at UFC 229 on Saturday, but was "pulled from the card and on Sept. 30, announced he had a failed drug test." The UFC under the old policy "would have released it." However, in this case, O’Malley chose to, which is the "athlete’s right, but the UFC won’t comment until it is adjudicated" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/1).