The UFC partnered with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in July 2015 in an effort to clean up the sport of mixed martial arts and put all fighters at a level playing field.
The out-of-competition testing program has cost the UFC millions of dollars to implement and run to deter any competitors from gaining an unfair advantage.
On Monday, USADA and the UFC announced new changes to their arbitration rules.
The full statement reads:
September 26, 2016
USADA and UFC® today announced changes to the Arbitration Rules for Anti-Doping Policy Violations and other disputes under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Scheduled to go into effect on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, the rule changes were proposed and implemented in order to improve the arbitration process for UFC athletes.
Under the new rules, the filing fee to request arbitration has been reduced and a new provision will allow UFC athletes to recover the entire filing fee if there is a finding of “No Violation” or “No Fault / No Negligence.” In addition, a filing fee refund schedule has been adopted for instances when a case settles early in the arbitration process.
These changes will make arbitration more accessible for athletes, while still upholding the integrity of the arbitration process. The changes modify the original Arbitration Rules implemented under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy when it launched in July 2015.
USADA independently administers the year-round, anti-doping program for the UFC, which includes the unannounced drug testing of all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. The anti-doping program administered by USADA for UFC athletes includes education, science and research, testing, and results management. Official information concerning the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and athlete resources are available at UFC.USADA.org.