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PFL's USADA Drug Testing Policy Is Official, Published
Over the past week, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) held its first events since it announced it had teamed with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and that USADA would oversee the promotion's drug testing program. The announcement came after numerous PFL drug test failures around fight cards that took place in Las Vegas in April.
The PFL announced in July that it was teaming with USADA for its drug testing program. The PFL anti-doping policy is now available on USADA's website. The document is 37 pages. The USADA site also has documentation for the following PFL drug testing policies: Prohibited List, Whereabouts, Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) Policy, and Arbitration Policy.
The drug test failures that came under the oversight of the Nevada State Athletic Commission led to many suspensions, including:
2022 PFL Light Heavyweight tournament champion Rob Wilkinson
2021 PFL Heavyweight tournament winner Bruno Cappelozza
At the time the NSAC handed down those suspensions, NSAC chairman Anthony Marnell said of the PFL:
"We're going to have to take a really hard look at a PFL, even allowing them to get on our docket until they've shown that these fighters are clean, because this is a waste of time, state resources, as it's degrading to the sport, and we had this thing really cleaned up, and now all of a sudden in the last two meetings, I've heard more drug cases than I've heard in two years," Marnell said in addressing PFL and Power Slap drug test failures. "It's disappointing because that's not where we were going.
"It's not what the programs were designed to do, and we're catching them, but they're out of town, they've made their money, they could care less about the win-loss record, and they have to pay $1,200 if they ever want to come back here again, and half of those we never see that money anyway, they're gone. This is not a good look for Nevada or for these promoters."
I reached out to USADA about the PFL drug-testing program and received the following response via email, "USADA began serving as the independent administrator of PFL's Anti-Doping Policy on July 11, 2023. The PFL should be congratulated for putting in place a truly independent and best-in-class program that includes a robust anti-doping policy, education, in-competition and year-round, no-notice, out-of-competition testing, and innovative collection and scientific research as well as full due process for any potential anti-doping rule violations."
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