USADA, Former UFC Fighters and “Retained Jurisdiction”

Shortly after testing positive for marijuana metabolites by an in competition test conducted by USADA at UFC 195 along with other legal woes Diego Brandao was released from the  promotion.

This week USADA announced that they have sanctioned Brandao with a 9 month suspension  for the anti-doping policy violation.  This is the first example of USADA’s retained jurisdiction in action.

Although Brandao is no longer under UFC contract, his contract adopted the USADA Anti Doping Policy which expressly gives them jurisdiction to sanction Brandao even after he is cut from the promotion.  Specifically this is allowed under Article 7.9 of the Policy which reads as follows

“If an Athlete retires or ceases to be under contract with UFC while USADA is conducting the results management process, including the investigation of any Atypical Finding or Atypical Passport Finding, USADA retains jurisdiction to complete its results management process. If an Athlete retires or ceases to be under contract with UFC before any results management process has begun, and USADA had results management authority over the Athlete at the time the Athlete committed an Anti-Doping Policy Violation, USADA has authority to conduct results management in respect of that Anti-Doping Policy Violation…”

Although State, Provincial and other Athletic Commissions have no obligation to honor this suspension, should Brandao resume fighting before the suspension is completed the UFC have a heavy club to wield should the suspension not be honoured with section 10.10 providing the following powers –

UFC may impose a fine on an Athlete or other Person who commits an Anti-Doping Policy Violation up to the sum of $500,000 depending on the seriousness of the violation and the relative compensation of the Athlete or other Person

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