x
x
x
x

Thu, July 08, 2021

Nevada State Athletic Commission will no longer discipline boxers, MMA fighters for marijuana use

Nevada State Athletic Commission will no longer discipline boxers, MMA fighters for marijuana use

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) - which regulates some of the most high-profile boxing and MMA fights in the world- unanimously amended its anti-doping policy on Wednesday (7 July 2021) to no longer ban athletes for the use or possession of cannabis.  

The changes came after track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson’s recent suspension from the Tokyo Olympics because of drug testing that revealed marijuana use.

The new changes mean drug tests that show more than 150 nanograms of marijuana metabolites per milliliter limit would not disqualify a fighter. Still, athletes who show up noticeably intoxicated would still be barred from competition.

The NSAC will continue testing for cannabis over the next six months for data collection purposes before determining whether to continue the practice. Any fighter who tests positive will not be punished, however.

The NSAC, however, retained the right to remove a fighter from a bout if they are clearly impaired by marijuana or alcohol.

Bob Bennett, the commission’s executive director, said that according to the World Anti-Doping Agency, marijuana does not appear to provide any benefits to athletes in competition. 

“Marijuana is considered to be a substance of abuse and not a performance enhancing drug,” he said. “I think our goal is to test performance enhancing drugs in an effort to ensure there's a level playing field.”

On the same day it made its vote, the NSAC suspended two UFC fighters due to positive tests for cannabis related to fights that took place in March in Las Vegas. Gillian Robertson was suspended for four-and-a-half months and fined $2,000, and Misha Cirkunov was suspended for six months and given a $4,000 fine.

The UFC itself had stopped disciplining fighters for marijuana in January. UFC senior vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky said fighters would only be punished for cannabis use if they appeared under the influence on fight nights.

"The bottom line is that in regard to marijuana, we care about what an athlete consumed the day of a fight, not days or weeks before a fight, which has often been the case," Novitzky said in a statement at that time.

In Nevada, weed has been legal for recreational use since 2017. The state is also home to a multimillion-dollar mixed martial arts and boxing economy, with Las Vegas events drawing thousands of visitors and millions in revenue.

Share

Recent News Articles

Fri, September 30, 2022

Women’s rights group calls for Iran to be kicked out of Qatar World Cup

Women’s rights group Open Stadiums has called on FIFA to kick Iran out of this year’s World Cup in Qatar because of the country’s treatment of women. 

Read More

Thu, September 29, 2022

Denmark to tone down World Cup kit in protest against Qatar’s human rights record and treatment of migrant workers

Denmark will wear a toned down kit for the World Cup in Qatar as a form of protest against the country’s human rights record and treatment of migrant workers. 

Read More

Mon, September 26, 2022

Boxing’s Olympic future in doubt after IBA backs Russian president Umar Kremlev

Boxing’s inclusion at future Olympics has been plunged into further doubt after the International Boxing Association (IBA) backed Russian president Umar Kremlev by voting against allowing a leadership challenge against him. 

Read More