The Florida State Boxing Commission decided that it will no longer test athletes for cannabis.After a meeting on Tuesday, the body decided to eliminate testing for marijuana metabolites.
Until recently, many athletic state commissions that operated in conjunction with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) were penalizing fighters if they failed the threshold for marijuana metabolites leading up to their fight.
The spokesperson for Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Patrick Fargason said, “We’re not testing for it. We’re not doing anything with it — period.”
Before this, even trace amounts of marijuana were enough to remove a fighter from their fights. There have been instances where the commission charged a fine from the athlete. Not only that, sometimes, it could also result in a fight result being overturned.
The USADA changed its policy on the use of marijuana back in January. However, the UFC senior vice president Jeff Novitzky stated that if a fighter was visibly under the effects of cannabis, they won’t be cleared for a fight.
While speaking to ESPN he said, “It would probably require visual signs if the athlete shows up at an event stumbling, smelling like marijuana, eyes bloodshot, things like that. And that’s … something you rarely, if ever, see. I certainly haven’t in my six years with the UFC.”
Florida also seems to have followed suit with USADA regarding cannabis usage. After the recent release of the protocols on concussions by the UFC PI, it seems that the UFC is taking the lead in guiding fighters and ensuring their health and safety.
It remains to be seen what effects this decision has on the fighters’ performance and whether or not other states will follow suit.