Last month I addressed some practical barriers for the UFC’s planned random anti doping program. The announced program has caught the eye of State and Provincial Athletic Commissions who, although welcome the changes, are grappling with the legalities of using the privately obtained information in a regulatory context.
““I applaud the UFC for recognizing they need to step up and take action. Now, we as commissions need to figure out how we handle a fighter who is positive outside-of-competition”
Nick Lembo, chair of the ABC’s legal and rules committee, and legal counsel to the influential New Jersey State and Athletic Control Board, also weighed in with the following level headed comments:
“It would seem that the testing laboratory could report the results directly to the contestant’s home jurisdiction, to the ABC’s MMA Database Committee, and the ABC Medical Committee. As the ABC’s legal committee chair, I would remind members that any information can be considered when contemplating licensing and bout approval decisions. I would expect that ABC members would seriously consider reports of positive results from accredited laboratories when considering to grant or renew a license, issuing disciplinary action to a current licensee, or deciding an upcoming event’s bout approval.”
None of these comments get over the initial hurdle of needing fighter consent as to the use of their privately collected samples outside of the official regulatory process, but the fact that commissions are taking notice and strategizing on how they ought to use the data to further the safety interests of the sport is a welcome development.