(Image courtesy of MixedMartialArts.com’s Kirik Jenness)
Although little media attention was received, on September 9, 2016 Nevada overhauled their combat sports regulations with many significant changes most notably to the anti doping scheme.
The key changes to the anti doping rules are as follows which all Nevada combat sports stakeholders should be familiar with:
- The NAC adopts, in addition to WADA’s prohibited substances, WADA’s prohibited methods thus eliminating a blood doping loophole which arguably existed in Nevada.
- Specifically noting that anti-doping violations are strict liability offences and that “it is not necessary to establish that the unarmed combatant intentionally, knowingly or negligently used a prohibited substance or that the unarmed combatant is otherwise at fault for the presence of the prohibited substance“
- Confirming that a positive A sample where B sample testing is waived is sufficient to prove an anti doping violation
- Confirming that a positive A and B sample is sufficient to prove an anti doping violation
- Confirming that an anti-doping violation can occur even without a failed test if there is proof that an unarmed combatant “utilizes, applies, ingests or consumes by any means, or attempts to utilize, apply ingest, inject or consume by any means, a prohibited substance or prohibited method“
- Sets penalties for refusing or failing to submit to a test as a suspension from 12-24 months and fines of 20-40% of the fighter’s purse.
- Confirming that intimidating test administrators or otherwise tampering or obstructing with the test collection process is a violation with suspensions of 12-24 months and fines of 20-40% of the fighter’s purse
- Confirming that possessing out of competition substances at any time (or possessing substances banned in-competition while in competition) is an anti doping violation with suspensions ranging from 9-24 months and fines of 15-30% of a fighter’s purse
- Confirming that it is a violation to sell, give, transport, deliver or distribute prohibited substances with suspensions ranging from 12 months to a lifetime ban and fines of 15-50% of a fighter’s purse
- Allows for reduced penalties where an athlete “promptly admits to an anti-doping violation“. If the admission is the only evidence against the fighter the suspension can be reduced by up to 50% and fines can be reduced to as little as 10% of the purse.
- Similar leniency is built in where an admission is made in the face of other evidence.
- Mandating a default suspension of 9-24 months for an anti doping violation with a fine from 15-30 % of a fighters purse.
- Doubling the period of suspension for “a second anti doping violation” with fines of up to 40% of the fighter’s purse
- Increased suspensions for “a third or subsequent anti-doping violation” from 18 months up to a lifetime ban and fines of 40-60% of a fighter’s purse
- Doubling anti-doping suspensions if there are “aggravating circumstances” defined as “when the conditions, events or facts accompanying an anti-doping violation increase the culpability of the person who committed the anti-doping violation” with an unexhaustive list of examples provided.
- Allowing reduced suspensions including the potential for no suspension where ‘one or more mitigating circumstances’ exist such as the tainted supplement defense or providing assistance in establishing anti doping violations against others
- Clarifying the Therapeutic Use Exemption process including confirming that TUE’s can not be granted retroactively after a bout took place.
- Confirming that a licence can be further suspended or revoked where an individual fails to pay a fine imposed in a timely fashion or otherwise comply with the terms of a payment plan
- Requiring promoter hired drug testing organizations to be licenced with the commission and further requiring promoter/drug testing organization contracts to be filed with the commission and compelling such organizations to send all test results to the commission.