UFC announces it will not longer punish fighters for positive cannabis tests

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It appears Dana White has kept his word.  In November, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president said he was working to “ loosen up ” the rules when it comes to cannabis.  As of Jan. 1,   MMA Fighting   reports that positive cannabis tests no longer trigger fines and suspensions for UFC fighters.  RELATED LINKS: UFC president Dana White says he’s working to “loosen up” cannabis restrictions UFC’s Jeff Novitzky on cannabis sanctions: ‘I really think we are pushing these athletes to drugs that are even more dangerous’ Report: UFC discussing psychedelic therapies with Johns Hopkins as possible treatment for fighters’ brain health The revised rules represent and agreement between the UFC and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). At least five UFC fighters have been suspended over the previous 12 months for testing positive for cannabis.  In many cases, the fighters said that the positive tests were a result of residual cannabis being in their systems after taking fights on short notice.  “In a significant number of cases involving cannabinoids, we found that the THC presence was residual and provided no performance-enhancing benefit nor impairment at the levels found,” USADA UFC and Premier Sport senior manager Ryan Carpenter told  MMA Fighting . Under the new rules, fighters will still be tested for cannabinoids, but will not be punished for positive results unless “further evidence demonstrates the substance was taken for performance-enhancing purposes,” Newsday   reports.  “The only concern that we have here with marijuana, it’s an in-competition prohibited drug only,” Jeff Novitzky, vice president of athlete health and performance for the UFC, told  Newsday . “So you want to make sure the fighters aren’t impaired when they’re fighting. And the reality, and what the science shows with marijuana, is strictly a level in urine or blood really has…

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