Today USADA published a press release advising of changes to the UFC/USADA anti-doping policy which come into force in April, 2017.

The new policy can be found here.

USADA summarized the changes as follows:

Policy Changes 2.1.5 – Limited Conditions for No Violation

In the event an Athlete entering the Program voluntarily and promptly discloses to USADA, prior to testing by USADA, the Use or Attempted Use of a substance or method that is prohibited at all times on the Prohibited List, then the presence or evidence of Use of such disclosed substance or method in an Athlete’s Sample, shall not be considered an Anti-Doping Policy Violation if it is determined by USADA to have resulted from Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method which occurred prior to the Athlete entering the Program.

2.5.2 – Expands Tampering Definition

Absent a compelling justification, the failure to disclose to USADA, prior to entering the Program, the Use, Attempted Use or Possession within the previous one year of a substance or method that is classified as prohibited at all times on the Prohibited List. The past Use, Attempted Use or Possession of a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method shall not constitute a violation of these Policies if disclosed prior to entering the Program; however, the admission of such conduct shall subject the Athlete to the notice period requirements outlined in Article 5.7.4. Furthermore, unless the Athlete’s use of the substance or method in question was pursuant to a valid medical prescription or recommendation, such conduct may also be considered in sanctioning or counted as a violation for purposes of Article 10.7 if the Athlete subsequently commits an Anti-Doping Policy Violation.

2.9 – Expands Complicity Definition

Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, conspiring, covering up or any other type of intentional complicity involving (a) an Anti-Doping Policy Violation, Attempted Anti-Doping Policy Violation or violation of Article 10.12.1 by another Person; or (b) conduct committed by an individual who is not subject to this Policy, which would otherwise have constituted an Anti-Doping Policy Violation.

5.7 – Notice Requirements for New and Returning Athletes

5.7.1

An Athlete who has not previously competed in UFC, may not compete in UFC Bouts until he/she has executed a Promotional Agreement with UFC and made him/herself available for Testing for a minimum period of one month before his/her first UFC Bout. Where the conditions set forth in Article 5.7.6 below are satisfied, the foregoing rule shall not prevent a new UFC Athlete from participating in a Bout less than one month after entering into a Promotional Agreement with UFC.

5.7.2

An Athlete who ceases to have a contractual relationship with UFC due to UFC-Initiated Inactivity, may not resume competing in UFC Bouts until he/she has entered into a new Promotional Agreement with UFC and has made him/herself available for Testing for a period of one month before returning to competition. Where the conditions set forth in Article 5.7.6 below are satisfied, the foregoing rule shall not prevent a returning UFC Athlete from participating in a Bout less than one month after entering into a new Promotional Agreement with UFC.

5.7.3

An Athlete who gives notice of retirement to UFC, or has otherwise ceased to have a contractual relationship with UFC due to Athlete-Initiated Inactivity, may not resume competing in UFC Bouts until he/she has given UFC written notice of his/her intent to resume competing and has made him/herself available for Testing for a period of six months before returning to competition. UFC may grant an exemption to the six-month written notice rule in exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an Athlete.

5.7.4

A new or returning Athlete who admits or has an established and verifiable history of the Use, Attempted Use or Possession of a substance or method that is classified as prohibited at all times on the Prohibited List shall not be permitted to compete in UFC Bouts until he/she has made him/herself available for Testing for a minimum period of six months before competing. At USADA’s discretion, such Athletes may also be required to provide a minimum of two negative Samples during the minimum six-month notice period before being cleared for competition. This provision shall not apply in situations in which (i) the Athlete’s Use of the Prohibited Substance or Method was pursuant to a valid TUE or (ii) USADA subsequently grants the Athlete a TUE for the substance or method in question.

5.7.5

If an Athlete retires from UFC competition while subject to a period of Ineligibility, the Athlete shall not resume competing in UFC Bouts or competitions approved or sanctioned by an Athletic Commission until the Athlete has given six months prior written notice (or notice equivalent to the period of Ineligibility remaining as of the date the Athlete retired, if that period was longer than six months) to UFC of his/her intent to resume competing and has made him/herself available for Testing throughout the notice period. Similarly, if an Athlete is retired at the time a period of Ineligibility is imposed, then the Athlete’s sanction shall be tolled until such time he/she provides written notice of his/her return from retirement and makes him/herself available for Testing.

5.7.6

The one-month notice period requirement for an Athlete subject to Articles 5.7.1 and 5.7.2 shall be waived automatically where he/she is named to a Fight Card as a replacement for an Athlete who was withdrawn from the Fight Card due to loss of eligibility, injury or other event not reasonably foreseeable to UFC.

7.7.2 – Scope and Purpose of Provisional Hearing

7.7.2.1

Provisional Hearings shall be conducted by a single Arbitrator and heard via conference call within the time frame specified by USADA. The sole issue to be determined by the Arbitrator at such a hearing will be whether USADA’s decision that a Provisional Suspension should be imposed shall be upheld.

7.7.2.2

USADA’s decision to impose a Provisional Suspension shall be upheld if probable cause exists for USADA to proceed with a charge of an Anti-Doping Policy Violation against the Athlete. It shall not be necessary, however, for any B Sample analysis to have been completed in order to establish probable cause.

10.7.4.3 – Athletic Commission Violations

Decisions made either before or after the effective date of this Policy by an Athletic Commission or other Anti-Doping Organization, finding that an Athlete or other Person violated a rule involving Prohibited Substances or Prohibited Methods or committed an Anti-Doping Policy Violation may be considered in sanctioning or counted as a violation under this Article where the process was fair and the violation would also be a violation of these policies. Where such offense would not also constitute a violation under this Policy, then the offense shall not count as a violation for purposes of Article 10.7.

23.2 – Determining Which Rules Apply

With respect to any Anti-Doping Policy Violation case which is pending as of the Effective Date and any Anti-Doping Policy Violation case brought after the Effective Date based on an Anti-Doping Policy Violation which occurred prior to the Effective Date, the case shall be governed by the substantive antidoping rules in effect at the time the alleged Anti-Doping Policy Violation occurred unless the current rules would be more beneficial to the Athlete or other Person and the panel hearing the case determines that the circumstances of the case warrant the application of those rules.

New and Revised Definitions

In Competition

For purposes of this Anti-Doping Policy, “In-Competition” means the period commencing at noon on the day prior to the scheduled start of the Fight Card on which a Bout is contested and ending upon the completion of the postBout Sample or Specimen collection. If a post-Bout Sample or Specimen collection is not initiated by USADA within a reasonable time, which will not exceed one hour following an Athlete’s post-Bout medical clearance, then the In-Competition period shall expire at that time.

Inactivity

An Athlete shall be considered inactive due to UFC-Initiated Inactivity when the Athlete no longer has a contractual relationship with the UFC due to the termination of the Promotional Agreement by UFC or refusal by UFC to renew or otherwise continue the contractual relationship with Athlete upon the expiration of the Promotional Agreement.

Professional of Sport Related Capacity

Acting in a Professional or Sport Related Capacity shall include, without limitation, acting as a manager, coach, trainer, second, corner man, agent, official, medical or paramedical personnel. For purposes of this Policy, it shall not include indirect or peripheral involvement in an Athlete’s training, or acting as an Athlete’s training partner.

Today the British Columbia Athletic Commission released a position paper confirming that all of the changes to the unified rules adopted by the ABC at the 2016 convention are not being adopted.

The paper also suggests these will not likely be adopted in much of Canada noting “as a member of Federal/Provincial/Territorial Athletic Commission, BCAC has committed to abide by uniform standards within Canada“.  It is worth pointing out, however, that MMA standards currently are anything but uniform across Canada.

Specifically BC will not be allowing heel strikes to the kidney from guard and also will not adopt the new definition of a grounded fighter.

This should be of no surprise because BC, by regulation, adopts New Jersey’s rules.  New Jersey was a vocal but minority objector to the above changes.  Since New Jersey did not adopt these rules BC by default does not unless there is regulatory change which, based on BC’s position paper, does not appear forthcoming.  Below is BC’s full position –

bcac-position-paper-on-mma-rule-changes

 

Holly Holm Appeals UFC 208 Loss

Posted: February 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

As first reported by MMAFighting, Holly Holm is appealing her UFC 208 loss.

In short Holm argues that she was repeatedly fouled by late blows and the referee erred in failing to deduct points from her opponent.

The issue Holm will face is the deduction of points for fouls is a discretionary task and appeals based on the exercise of discretion rarely succeed.

Below is Holm’s full appeal –

holm-appeal-page-1

holm-appeal-page-2

 

Update February 16, 2017 – Today Marc Raimondi reports that GSP is indeed not currently in the USADA testing pool.

raimondi-tweet

Also noteworthy are the UFC/USADA’s updates to the anti doping policy revealed today which could shelf GSP for up to 6 months if his return is not finalized before April 1 absent the UFC playing the ‘exceptional circumstances’ card.  Specifically GSP would be caught by s. 5.7.3 of the new policy which reads as follows:

5.7.3

An Athlete who gives notice of retirement to UFC, or has otherwise ceased to have a contractual relationship with UFC due to Athlete-Initiated Inactivity, may not resume competing in UFC Bouts until he/she has given UFC written notice of his/her intent to resume competing and has made him/herself available for Testing for a period of six months before returning to competition. UFC may grant an exemption to the six-month written notice rule in exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an Athlete.

______________________________

Today Ariel Helwani reports that “St-Pierre, the former UFC welterweight champion, is on the verge of signing a new multi-fight contract with the promotion, multiple sources confirmed with MMA Fighting.”

If true the next question is timing and a key analysis will be whether he will be shelved for 4 months due to the UFC/USADA anti doping protocols.

Section 5.7.1 of the policy requires athletes who “ceased to have a contractual relationship with UFC, may not resume competing in UFC Bouts until he/she….has made him/herself available for Testing for a period of four months before returning to competition.”

As was learned from the high profile Brock Lesnar affair, the UFC has discretion to waive this requirement in “exceptional circumstances” a phrase that is not defined.  When the period was waived for Lesnar who then committed an anti-doping violation, the UFC and Lesnar were hit with litigation.

GSP never used the word retirement and when negotiations to return heated up in 2016 he entered the USADA testing pool.   The former welterweight champ was tested in August or September of 2016 but in October announced that he was no longer under UFC contract and “I’m a free agent.”.  He has not been tested since.

gsp-usada-screenshot

While the UFC never accepted GSP’s position his announcement may sideline him for months.  USADA’s testing powers come to an end  with “the termination of (a fighters) contract with UFC“.

Earlier this year the UFC noted that they are tweaking the policy to take away waivers of this period for “athletes who chose at their discretion to be removed from the RTP” and that such athletes “will be required to have an extended presence in the RTP before returning to competition”.

GSP appears to meet this definition.

After a scheduled heavyweight world title bout between Alexander Povetkin and Deontay Wilder was cancelled due to Povetkin testing positive for Meldonium the parties turned to the judiciary.

ESPN reports that a jury in US Federal Court took just over 30 minutes to decide that Povetkin indeed ingested Meldonium after it became a banned substance exposing him to damages for the cancelled bout.

While doping often leads to regulatory and other administrative penalties, this civil lawsuit will serve as a valuable precedent and deterrent to others thinking of gaining advantage through illicit performance enhancing substances.  ESPN’s Senior Writer Dan Rafael reports as follows:

Povetkin admitted that he used meldonium but said it was before it was banned. His argument was that whatever meldonium was in his system was left over from when he used it in August and September 2015, when it was still legal under WADA code.

But the jury accepted Wilder’s argument that Povetkin must have used meldonium after it was added to the banned list because he tested negative in random VADA doping tests conducted on April 7, April 8 and April 11 before an April 27 sample tested positive.

“We won the case, and this is an important precedent in cases of this nature when a fight is canceled for PED use,” DiBella told ESPN. “The other participant in the fight has gone through all the work. Deontay was ready to fight, and this got canceled right before the fight. This ruling is a further disincentive for any fighter to attempt to get an unfair advantage. Our attorneys, Judd Burstein and Peter Schalk, did a tremendous job because this is somewhat complicated and scientific.

“Basically, it’s a great thing about our justice system that where the facts are on your side and you’re telling the truth, you win.”

DiBella said he was confident the defamation case would soon be dropped.

“I also think it’s a good bet that I don’t have much to worry about with their defamation claim, which was based on my saying Povetkin is a cheater,” DiBella said. “The jury said he is a cheater. I think it’s very telling that the jury only deliberated for slightly longer than 30 minutes.”

quebec-fist-photo

(Image via the UG)

I have written many times that amateur combative sports not on the “programme of the International Olympic Committee” are illegal in Canada unless Provinces pass laws specifying otherwise pursuant to the powers given to them by s. 83 of the Criminal Code.

Despite this reality some Provinces have failed to enact appropriate laws and turn a blind eye to illegal combative sports.  Quebec and Ontario are perhaps the most noteworthy examples.  This leaves local promoters with a tough choice, they can let their competitors secure a stranglehold on the marketplace or risk criminal prosecution if they choose to participate in the sports as well.

One Quebec based promoter, perplexed by the apparent discrepancy has pressed the Government for an answer about whether any organizations have received proper legal authority to oversee amateur kickboxing and muay thai events in La belle Province.

In short the Government replied “No”!.

Here is the Ministry’s full reply (crudely translated via Google)

To date, the Lieutenant Governor in Council of the Province of Quebec has not designated any sport or permitted any combat sport games as permitted by section 83 of the Criminal Code. For the purposes of paragraph (a), I would point out that karate is a combat sport covered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) program for the Tokyo Games in 2020.

In Quebec, work is continuing on government intervention using the powers of the provinces under section 83 of the Criminal Code.

Cordial greetings,

Michel Fafard

Director of Safety Promotion Recreation and Sports Sector Ministry of Education and Higher Education

100 Laviolette Street, Suite 213 Trois-Rivières, Quebec G9A 5S9

Phone: 819-371-6033 or 1-800-567-7902, ext. 4434 or 4425

Fax: 819-371-6992 Email: mfafard@education.gouv.qc.ca Web site: www.education.gouv.qc.ca

Like Ontario, Quebec recognizes various Provincial Sport Organizations including some involved in combative sports.  A PSO that is ‘recognized’ by the Government is basically in a position to receive public funding. Recognition does little more than this and does not meet the clear requirements for legalization set out in the Criminal Code.

It is also interesting that the reply suggests amateur Karate contests are ok.  Karate is on the IOC’s program for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics on a provisional basis.  If Quebec’s interpretation is accurate then, as previously discussed, amateur Karate contests are legal Canada wide with the exception of Provinces that have passed laws specifying otherwise.

 

Adding to this site’s archived posts addressing combat sports piracy, reasons for judgement were released recently by the US District Court, ND Texas, Dallas Division, awarding damages of $20,000 for the commercial piracy of UFC 162.

In the recent case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. 2 Tacos Bar and Grill) the Defendant displayed UFC 162 without paying the Plaintiff the commercial sub licencing fee which would have been $1,300.  The Plaintiff sued and obtained default judgement.  Joe Hand sought $60,000 in total damages but the Court refused finding $20,000 sufficient in the circumstances. In reaching this assessment Chief District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn provided the following reasons:

The uncontroverted evidence indicates that there were 70 patrons at 2 Tacos at the time of the violation. ECF No. 15-5 at 1. Plaintiff’s rate card for the Event further indicates that for a maximum occupancy of 165 people, the capacity of 2 Tacos, it would have cost $1,300 to legally broadcast the Event. ECF No. 15-4 at 1. The Court finds it reasonable, therefore, to award base statutory damages in the amount of $5,000. See Beck, 2013 WL 5592333, at *2 (“[T]o adequately deter piracy, the cost of piracy must be significantly higher than the cost of buying a license.”).

The Court concludes that 2 Tacos and Hinojosa acted willfully. Given “the limited methods of intercepting closed circuit broadcasting of pay-per-view events and the low probability that a commercial establishment could intercept such a broadcast merely by chance,” courts have held that conduct such as that of 2 Tacos and Hinojosa in this case to be willful and for the purposes of commercial advantage. E.g., Al-Waha Enters., 219 F. Supp. 2d at 777 (citing cases); Beck, 2013 WL 5592333 (“[I]t is obvious that commercial establishments show sports programs to draw business, not out of charity.”). However, the Court notes that there was no cover charge imposed to attend the Event, and Plaintiff does not allege that 2 Tacos was a repeat offender in broadcasting the Event. Taking those facts into consideration, therefore, the Court in its discretion will only award total damages of $15,000, or three times the base award amount. Al-Waha, 219 F. Supp. 2d at 766 (awarding treble damages in a similar case); Beck, 2013 WL 5592333 (same); see also Alima, 2014 WL 1632158, at *5 (awarding four times the base statutory damages in additional damages when a cover was charged to view the unauthorized broadcast). Plaintiff is thus entitled to a statutory damages pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(i)(II) from 2 Tacos and Hinojosa, jointly and severally, in the amount of $5,000 and additional damages pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(ii) from 2 Tacos and Hinojosa, jointly and severally, in the amount of $15,000. Plaintiff is entitled to total damages in the amount of $20,000.

This week a lawsuit alleging that Al Haymon and the Premier Boxing Championships were conducting business in an anti-competitive way was dismissed by the US District Court, Central District of California.  For a great breakdown of this decision along with what it may mean for the UFC anti-trust lawsuit I recommend this piece by Paul Gift.

One interesting development are the Court’s comments on the scope of the Ali Act -legislation which rarely receives judicial scrutiny.

The Plaintiff promoter alleged that one of the anti-competitive actions of the Defendant promoter was acting as as both a manager and promoter in violation of the Ali Act.  The court found that even if this allegation was true it was of no assistance as the Ali Act can only aid boxers and government agencies.  Other promoters simply do not have standing to allege harm.  In dismissing this aspect of the Plaintiff’s claim District Judge John Walter provided the following reasons:

Plaintiffs contend that Defendants have violated the Ali Act by acting as both a manager and promoter of Championship-Caliber Boxers, and that this violation has given Defendants an unfair advantage over their competitors. The Ali Act, enacted in 2000, requires a “firewall” between managers and promoters. It makes it unlawful for “a promoter to have a direct or indirect financial interest in the management of a boxer;” or “a manager—(i) to have a direct or indirect financial interest in the promotion of a boxer; or “(ii) to be employed by or receive compensation or other benefits from a promoter, except for amounts received as consideration under the manager’s contract with the boxer.” 15 U.S.C. § 6308.

A plaintiff may only pursue an antitrust action if it can show “antitrust injury,” i.e., “‘injury of the type the antitrust laws were intended to prevent and that flows from that which makes defendants’ acts unlawful.’” Atl. Richfield Co. v. USA Petroleum Co., 495 U.S. 328, 334 (1990) (quoting Brunswick v. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat, Inc., 429 U.S. 477, 489 (1977)). The four requirements for antitrust injury are: “(1) unlawful conduct, (2) causing an injury to the plaintiff, (3) that flows from that which makes the conduct unlawful, and (4) that is of the type the antitrust laws were intended to prevent.” Am. Ad Mgmt., Inc. v. Gen. Tel. Co. of California, 190 F.3d 1051, 1055 (9th Cir. 1999).
“Injury of the type antitrust laws were intended to prevent” means harm to competition, not harm to individual competitors. See Brunswick, 429 U.S. at 488 (quoting Brown Shoe Co. v. United States, 370 U.S. 294, 320 (1962)) (“The antitrust laws . . . were enacted for ‘the protection of competition not competitors.’”).

Plaintiffs cannot establish antitrust injury based on alleged violations of the Ali Act because the only parties with standing to assert a violation of the Ali Act are boxers or government agencies. See 15 U.S.C. § 6309(a). As such, any alleged harm to Plaintiffs would not “flow[ ] from that which makes defendants’ acts unlawful.” Brunswick Corp. v. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat, Inc., 429 U.S. 477, 489 (1977).  Indeed, the specific provision that Plaintiffs claim that Defendants violated, 15 U.S.C. § 6308, was intended to protect boxers from promoters and managers. As the Senate Report states:

The final protection for boxers established in this section is the prohibition of conflicts of interests between promoters and managers. Most boxers have limited educational backgrounds and, as the top promoters in the sport readily concede, are no match for experienced promoters during contractual discussions. While the role of managers has been diminished in the sport over the last decade, it remains essential that managers, if a boxer does hire a manager, that the manager serve and protect the interests of the boxer. They should not be serving the financial interests of the promoter, while simultaneously taking a 33% earnings cut from the boxer for biased representation as manager. It is not plausible for a boxer to receive proper representation and counsel from a manager if the manager is also on the payroll of a promoter. This is an obvious conflict of interest which works to the detriment of the boxer and the advantage of the promoter. The Committee received testimony about instances wherein boxers had suffered significant career and economic injury due to their manager’s clear conflicting interests. A manager must be a determined advocate for the boxer’s interests and not be influenced by financial inducements from a promoter. This provision tracks a similar regulation of many State boxing commissions.

S. REP. 106-83, at 11 (1999). The Court concludes that the conflict of interest provision in the Ali Act was not intended to compensate promoters for lost profits.

Moreover, absent some other antitrust violation (such as tying, exclusive dealing or predatory pricing), Plaintiffs’ claimed injury as a result of the Defendants’ alleged violation of the Ali Act would be exactly the same as if a new competitor entered the promotion market. In other words, Plaintiffs’ injury was caused by conduct that was beneficial to competition in the promotion market. “If the injury flows from aspects of the defendant’s conduct that are beneficial or neutral to competition, there is no antitrust injury, even if the defendant’s conduct is illegal per se.” Rebel Oil, 51 F.3d 1433.

Accordingly, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate the requisite antitrust injury as a result of Defendants’ alleged violations of the Ali Act.

The full decision can be found here – golden-boy-v-haymon-full-summary-judgement

Today the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the UFC’s anti doping policy administrator, announced that Felipe Olivieri has been handed a 2 year suspension after testing positive for a prohibited substance in an out-of-competition urine test on January 11, 2016.  The test revealed the presence of 5α-tetrahydromethyltestosterone and 5βtetrahydromethyltestosterone, which are metabolites of methyltestosterone.

Methyltestosterone is banned at all times (both in and out of competition) under the UFC / USADA anti doping policy.  Olivieri disputed the findings and proceeded to arbitration.

An independent Arbitrator for McLaren Global Sports Solutions, Inc. adjudicated the matter and handed Olivieri a 2 year ban.

The full reasons can be found here – felipe-olivieri-usada-arbitration-decison

From the strange but true files, fighters competing at the UFC’s upcoming card in Halifax are entering an odd legal landscape.  I have previously canvassed some Nova Scotia legal peculiarities here along with legal positives for fighters but there is one regulation which deserves a stand-alone post. The fight ending groin shot.

The Nova Scotia Boxing Authority (who oversee MMA in the Province because “a combat sport is boxing” by their regulations) don’t believe a fight can end by groin shot.

Nova Scotia’s official Promoter-Boxer Contract contains the following clause –

6. (1) The Boxer agrees to use a foul-proof guard/chest protector selected by the Boxer of a type approved by the Authority.

(2) It is expressly understood that this boxing match is not to be terminated by a low blow, as any foul- proof guard selected by the Boxer is, in the Boxer’s opinion, sufficient protection to withstand any so-called low blow that might otherwise incapacitate the Boxer.

But this is MMA, not boxing you say?  It does not matter, because remember, by legal definition in Nova Scotia MMA is a combat sport and combat sports are boxing.

Still not convinced?  Nova Scotia has an ‘off the books’ regulation (which is not legally in force but apparently used by the Authority) for MMA and the Promoter-Contestant contract has an almost identical clause referring to “contestants” instead of “boxers” noting as follows:

6. (1) The Contestant agrees to equip himself/herself with a foul-proof guard/chest protector of his/her own choosing.

(2) It is expressly understood that this contest is not to be terminated by a low blow, as any foul- proof guard selected by the Contestant is, in the Contestant’s opinion, sufficient protection to withstand any so-called low blow that might otherwise incapacitate the Contestant.

OK, you say, that’s just the promoter-fighter contract and not the actual regulations.  The actual regulations must not allow this, right?  Wrong. Section 146 of current regulations (which the Province confirmed to me just last week are indeed still in force) repeats the bizarre requirement noting

Low blows
146 (1) No boxing match shall be terminated by a low blow, as the protectors that are used by boxers are sufficient protection to withstand any low blow that might otherwise incapacitate either of the boxers.

(2) If a boxer falls to the ring floor or otherwise indicates an unwillingness to continue because of a claim of a low blow foul, the boxing match shall be terminated and the referee shall award the boxing match to the opponent.

So, in short, both on the books and off the books the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority make it clear – if you can’t compete after a low-blow you lose.

Will these rules be followed?  I’m guessing not.  The Authority will likely turn a blind eye to these rules and allow the UFC to use the so-called unified rules.  However, if a fighter is disqualified after giving an illegal low-blow they would win an appeal to have the result overturned according to the actual rules. I guess my legal advice to fighters is to truly “protect yourself at all times” in the Bluenose Province.  That, or train with Master Ken!