The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) sent out a memo this week to all fighters competing on the UFC 225 fight card.
Since this fight takes place in Chicago, fighters booked for the event must adhere to the rules set forth by the Illinois Athletic Commission.
As such, fighters must halt the use of marijuana immediately, to avoid suspension and being pulled from the fight card.
MMAWeekly.com received a copy of the UFC’s memo on the subject.
Here’s their report:
“Because of Illinois’ no tolerance policy for marijuana, we recommend that marijuana use be discontinued for anyone participating on the UFC 225 card between now and the event,” the memo to UFC 225 fighters read.
The only exception to the rule will be for fighters who have received a medical prescription to use marijuana from a physician. Those athletes would have to submit paperwork in writing to the Illinois Commission showing proof of the medical need of marijuana. If the athlete is approved, only then can they have marijuana in their system during the in competition drug test.
All athletes on the card — even those receiving an exemption — would still be subjected to USADA’s testing limits for marijuana at 150 ng/mL.
While this might seem like a strange protocol, the reality is every state has the right to set their own limits for drug testing, including how much marijuana is allowable for athletes competing in sports like mixed martial arts and boxing.
UFC flyweight competitor Jessica Eye famously had her 2013 win against Sarah Kaufman overturned to a no contest by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation when she tested positive for marijuana following the fight.
It turned out Eye only showed 16 ng/mL in her sample — almost 10 times less than the USADA testing limits — but in Texas the threshold was 15 ng/mL. Because of that, Eye’s UFC debut win was overturned.
The fighters in Illinois will have even stricter limits placed upon them with any amount of marijuana showing up in their systems triggering a positive result unless pre-approved by the commission for the use of the drug.