The UFC and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) began their relationship in 2015, with USADA testing all the fighters the promotion had under contract for illegal substances and/or performance enhancing drugs (PED’s).
There is going to be more testing in 2019 for USADA according to UFC Executive Jeff Novitzky, who recently announced that the UFC/USADA partnership will continue next year.
“USADA came to us and said, ‘hey, we think you should up the amount of testing that you are doing,’” Novitzy said on The Joe Rogan Experience. “So, we just renewed the contract with USADA and we are increasing our testing numbers between 30 to 40 percent. Currently, the first three years of the program under contract were approximately 700 tests and starting this next year we are going to up that to around 4300-4400 tests. It’s going to be more of a burden, there is going to be USADA showing up at more doorsteps early in the morning for more of our athletes but I think this is a perfect example that that increased volume in the testing can actually be a protection to the athlete.”
While Novitzky commented on the renewal of the partnership, no official statement has been issued by either the UFC or USADA at this point.
Controversial fighter and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones has been at the center of some more controversy lately, but Novitzky says that Jones has been one of the most tested fighters by USADA.
“In reality, Jon was one of the most tested, if not the most tested athlete over these last six months when you look at the total amount of tests. One thing that protected him was that volume of testing,” says Novitzky.
According to Bloody Elbow, since the USADA testing began in 2015, PED related issues have doubled for the fighters, although an exact number was not revealed.