Future Offenders Beware, Nevada Athletic Commission Revamps Punishment System

Things are going to get a lot tougher for future drug test offenders in Nevada. On Friday the Nevada Athletic Commission announced a new tier system for violators. The new system received a unanimous vote to be implemented beginning on September 1, 2015. The new system will included five different forms of violations with each category having 3-4 offense measures of punishment. The final straw for each category will be a lifetime ban from the sport. The NAC did say that a fighter’s history and the type of drugs will factor in each case.

Among the notable items in the language of the new policy is changes to a fighter’s record. If a fighter coming off a win fails violates the drug policy his or her win will be changed into a loss. The losing fighter from that particular bout will have the loss changed to a no contest. In the past if a fighter tested positive for a banned substance after a bout, the results were changed to a no contest. Here are the new guidelines and corresponding punishments:

Anabolic Steroids (includes testosterone and HGH):

  • First Offense: 36-month suspension, 50-70 percent fine of fighter’s purse
  • Second Offense: 48-month suspension, 75-100 percent fine of fighter’s of purse
  • Third Offense: Lifetime ban, 100 percent fine of fighter’s purse

Stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine, etc.):

  • First Offense: 24-month suspension, 35-45 percent fine of fighter’s purse
  • Second Offense: 36-month suspension, 50-60 percent fine of fighter’s purse
  • Third Offense: Lifetime ban, 100 percent fine of fighter’s purse

Sedatives, Muscle Relaxants, Sleep Aids, Anxiolytics, Opiates and Cannabis:

  • First Offense: 18-month suspension, 30-40 percent fine of fighter’s purse
  • Second Offense: 24-month suspension, 40-50 percent fine of fighter’s purse
  • Third Offense: 36-month suspension, 60-75 percent fine of fighter’s purse
  • Fourth Offense: Lifetime ban, 100 percent fine of fighter’s purse

Diuretics used to cut weight:

  • First Offense: 24-month suspension, 30-40 percent fine of fighter’s purse
  • Second Offense: 36-month suspension, 40-50 percent fine of fighter’s purse
  • Third Offense: Lifetime ban, 100 percent fine of fighter’s purse

Avoiding Testing / Detection / Supplying a Urine Sample not of human origin or not of the tested athlete, adulterants, drugs (including diuretics) used as masking agents:

  • First Offense: 48-month suspension, 75 percent fine of fighter’s purse
  • Second Offense: Lifetime ban, 100 percent fine of fighter’s purse

The guidelines and punishments give a much clearer picture to fans and the media as to how drug violators will be punished. With many of the sports biggest stars failing drug test within the past six months there can no longer be outside grumbling of stars being protected.

It is interesting that the category of sedatives which includes cannabis is the only one with four punishment tiers. A fighter has the opportunity to violate that set of guidelines up to three times before receiving a lifetime ban. The use of marijuana has been a hot topic in the world of sports. Many states are passing legislation that would make the use of it legal and many states allow the consumption of it for medical purposes. Fighters like Nick Diaz and Matt Riddle has openly criticized the UFC and the NAC for banning the use of cannabis.

2015 is shaping up to be a monumental year in the growth of mixed marital arts. With the new Reebok deal taking effect in July for the UFC, the debate of fighter’s pay will continue to grow. Time will only tell if that deal will be fair for all fighters. Now with the most influential athletic commission making strides to clean up the sport completely time will tell if fighters will comply and if other commissions will follow suit in helping clean up mixed martial arts.

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