pat-healy-10.jpg(This story appeared in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

A meeting of state athletic commissions next month could determine whether combat sports regulators adopt the World Anti- Doping Agency’s more relaxed rules regarding testing for marijuana. That, in turn, could be good news for some MMA fighters.

The Association of Boxing Commissions’ medical committee will then make a recommendation on whether to follow WADA’s marijuana threshold, which was raised from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150 ng/ mL in an athlete’s urine.

Several commissioners have indicated their support for the change, which could reduce the number of fighters who are suspended and fined for pot. At least seven UFC fighters have tested positive for marijuana since 2012. The conference takes place in late July in San Antonio.

“I leave medical decisions to medical personnel,” Nick Lembo, chairman of the ABC’s MMA rules committee and also a chief regulator in New Jersey’s athletic commission, told USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “But my personal feeling is that I would much rather focus on obvious performance-enhancing drug use like steroids and blood doping.

“If I was a trainer, I would much rather have my fighter fighting someone who took marijuana than someone who’s blood doping.”

The ABC’s medical committee, represented by more than 50 doctors around the country, met Wednesday to discuss WADA’s change. The UFC recently adopted WADA’s threshold for international events it self-regulates. The fight promotion’s vice president of regulatory affairs, Marc Ratner, is the former head of the Nevada commission and an advocate of lesser penalties for marijuana infractions.

The committee also discussed whether therapeutic-use exemptions should be given to medical cannabis users. In 2012, now-retired UFC welterweight Nick Diaz unsuccessfully challenged a postfight suspension issued by Nevada on the basis that he used the drug outside of competition and with a doctor’s approval.

Marijuana is a polarizing issue in the sport, with many fighters saying the drug is widely used.

UFC fighter Pat Healy tested positive for marijuana at UFC 159 in April, and it cost him $130,000 in bonuses. He said he last used the drug a month before his fight.

Ohio commissioner Bernie Profato is a former police officer who remembers a day on the job in which a mother tested positive for pot after a car crash that killed her 7-year-old child. He said he always would be opposed to the drug but would enforce whatever regulations were in place.

It might not take long for regulatory change. But the ABC’s president, Tim Lueckenhoff, sees red tape ahead despite his belief that athletic commissions will fall in step with WADA.

“What it really comes down to is what the regulations in the various states say,” said Lueckenhoff, who also heads Missouri’s commission. “If it says they go with the WADA guidelines, then it’s fine. If they have an individual rule that says what the threshold is, then all those commissions have to go through a rule-making process to change that, which unfortunately in state government takes time.”

(Pictured: Pat Healy)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

NSAC issues temporary suspensions to Palhares, Shields, Magalhaes pending hearings

  • 14 days ago
  • 49 views

The Nevada State Athletic Commission today issued temporary suspensions to WSOF welterweights Rousimar Palhares and Jake Shields, as well as UFC fighter Caio Magalhaes, pending formal hearings for un read news >>

A view from today's train wreck of a commission hearing with Anderson Silva

  • 14 days ago
  • 33 views

Anthony Marnell of the Nevada State Athletic Commission about summed up the mood when he brought his head to rest on a table in mock exasperation before ex-middleweight champ Anderson Silva.Filed und read news >>

Results from UFC Fight Night 71 come back clean after CSAC record amount of drug tests

  • 16 days ago
  • 1 views

The California State Athletic Commission did more tests than it has ever done for an MMA event. And all athletes came back clean. CSAC executive officer Andy Foster told MMAFighting.com on Tuesday th read news >>

UFC Fight Night 71 drug test results released for 'Mir vs. Duffee'

  • 15 days ago
  • 477 views

California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) released the drug test results for all 22 fighters competing at the UFC Fight Night 71 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on FOX Sports 1, which took place las read news >>

NSAC drug test hearings for Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz set for Aug. 13

  • 23 days ago
  • 13 views

Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has once again summoned Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) combatants Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, who are required to appear before the governing body on A read news >>

UFC 189 drug test results come back clean, as does sort-of random test for Jose Aldo

  • 17 days ago
  • 20 views

Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) today (finally) released the drug test results for UFC 189, which took place inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., July 11, 2015. Result read news >>

'UFC 190: Rousey vs. Correia' drug tests come back clean

  • a day ago
  • 1 views

All fighters who underwent drug testing earlier this month at UFC 190 in Brazil passed the tests.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 190 drug test results announced for 'Rousey vs. Correia'

  • a day ago
  • 243 views

Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) today released the drug test results for UFC 190: "Rousey vs. Correia" pay-per-view (PPV) event, which took place inside HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazi read news >>

UFC 190 injuries and medical suspensions: Claudia Gadelha and Patrick Cummins facing six-month sits

  • 24 days ago
  • 12 views

Brazilian Athletic Commission (CABMMA) issued its list of injuries and medical suspensions on Monday for the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters who participated in UFC 190, which took place last Sat. read news >>

NAC hearing for Anderson Silva discussion & updates

  • 14 days ago
  • 83 views

The Nevada State Athletic Commission will be live on Fight Pass on August 13th at 11am EST to address Anderson Silva's drug test failure among a host of other topics. The continuation of a major blac read news >>