NSAC adds new limits for banned substances

Boxing

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) established thresholds on certain prohibited substances Tuesday during its monthly meeting, meaning fighters who have those drugs in their system will now not automatically be in violation.

The drugs listed are selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs); GW1516 and its metabolites; dehydrochloromethltestosterone (DHCMT, or the M3 long-term metabolite); clomiphene; and epitrenbolone (trenbolone metabolite). The threshold on those substances will be .1 nanograms per milliliter, aside from epitrenbolone, which will be .2 nanograms per milliliter.

Now, if a fighter in MMA or boxing tests for those drugs below those levels it will be considered an atypical finding, which will lead to further investigation, which could include “the review of the fighter’s test history, interviews, and possible additional testing.” Previously, there was a zero-tolerance policy for those substances, leading to suspensions and fines for positive tests.

These thresholds are in line with what has already enacted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).

“This is something we have been working on for the better of five or six years,” said UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell, who testified at the meeting Tuesday. “Nevada has always been a leader in the regulatory space. I would just like to thank chairman Dallas Haun and the commissioners for their hard work and dedication in addressing this issue to make it more equitable for the athletes.”

Issues have arisen with substances like this due to advances in drug testing that can detect minute levels in fighters’ systems. In 2018, UFC all-time great Jon Jones was the first high-profile case where this came up. He was initially not cleared to compete in Nevada, pending a commission hearing, due to the presence of DHCMT in his system. However, USADA and the CSAC allowed him to fight, because he had trace levels and a long-term metabolite with no indication that he took a banned substance in the recent past nor any performance-enhancing properties.

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