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Nevada Drops The Hammer On Drug Test Offenders, Along w/ Lifetime Bans


After months of research and debate, the Nevada Athletic Commission on Friday voted unanimously to increase its penalties for athletes that run afoul of Nevada’s regulations when it comes to drug testing.

Of note, a first-time steroid offender will now receive a three-year suspension and lose 50-75 percent of his or her fight purse. There is also a rather short road to a lifetime ban for repeat offenders, not only for steroid use, but in every category, as noted below.

If a fighter wins a bout and fails a drug test, the outcome of the bout for that fighter will be changed to a loss with a footnote on the fighter’s record that the loss was due to a positive drug test. In the past, the result would have been changed to a no-contest for the winning fighter who tested positive and the losing fighter. Under the new guidelines, the losing fighter, if clean, would still have the result changed to a no-contest.

The new punishments instituted for drug testing infractions by the Nevada Athletic Commission are separated into differing categories depending upon the type of drug detected or the type of infraction.

The complete list is as follows:

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 and fined 75 percent of purse
  • Second Offense: Lifetime ban and fined 100 percent of purse

Anabolic Steroids (includes testosterone and HGH):

  • First Offense: 36-month suspension and fined 50-70 percent of purse
  • Second Offense: 48-month suspension and fined 75-100 percent of purse
  • Third Offense: Lifetime ban and fined 100 percent of purse

Stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine, etc.):

  • First Offense: 24-month suspension and fined 35-45 percent of purse
  • Second Offense: 36-month suspension and fined 50-60 percent of purse
  • Third Offense: Lifetime ban and fined 100 percent of purse

Diuretics used to cut weight:

  • First Offense: 24-month suspension and fined 30-40 percent of purse
  • Second Offense: 36-month suspension and fined 40-50 percent of purse
  • Third Offense: Lifetime ban and fined 100 percent of purse

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

  • First Offense: 18-month suspension and fined 30-40 percent of purse
  • Second Offense: 24-month suspension and fined 40-50 percent of purse
  • Third Offense: 36-month suspension and fined 60-75 percent of purse
  • Fourth Offense: Lifetime ban and fined 100 percent of purse

In addition to stiffer penalties and a clear road to a lifetime ban, the NAC also instituted a change that could become known as the “Jon Jones Rule.” The commission has deemed Diuretics Used for Weight Cutting and Stimulants banned at all times, not only “in-competition.”

Stimulants were only banned “in-competition” – that is a day prior to a fight and the time after the fight in which a test sample is collected – when Jon Jones tested positive for cocaine. He was not penalized by the commission because the cocaine metabolite was found during “out-of-competition” testing and was not considered a banned substance during such testing.

The changes are expected to go into effect on Sept. 1, 2015.

The commission also instituted educational and accountability components to its drug testing policy on Friday, but the focal point of deterring abusers is the lengthy suspensions coupled with increased financial penalties.

The commission also hopes to press the issue and influence other commissions around the United States to follow its lead.

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