High Times - UFC Decides Marijuana No Longer Violates Anti-Doping Rules

"Under the new policy, MMA fighters will no longer be penalized for off-duty cannabis use.Mixed martial arts promoter Ultimate Fighting Championship and the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced on Thursday that marijuana would no longer be banned for fighters in most cases. UFC and USADA officials said that they have made significant changes 'in the handling of cannabis and its naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds.'Under the new policy, positive tests for carboxy-THC, a metabolite of the cannabinoid, would no longer be a violation 'unless additional evidence exists that an athlete used it intentionally for performance-enhancing purposes.''While we want to continue to prevent athletes from competing under the influence of marijuana, we have learned that blood and/or urine levels of carboxy-THC have little to no scientific correlation to impairment,' UFC senior vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky said in a statement. 'THC is fat-soluble, meaning that once ingested, it is stored in fatty tissues and organs in the body and can be released back into the blood or urine, sometimes long after ingestion.''The bottom line is that in regards to marijuana, we care about what an athlete consumed the day of a fight, not days or weeks before a fight, which has often been the case in our historic positive THC cases,' he added. ..."Read the full article by A.J. Harrington at High Times.