At a time when drug testing policy in sports is under sharp, national scrutiny, Nevada sports regulators voted on Wednesday to make it so athletes will no longer be penalized over a positive marijuana test.
The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) unanimously agreed to enact the policy change, which will amend its anti-doping policy and remove the threat of suspension over cannabis use or possession for fighters. The move comes on the heels of a controversial suspension of a star sprinter from participating in the Olympics after she tested positive for marijuana.
As the Nevada Independent’s Zachary Bright reported, fighters will still be barred from competing in events if they show up visibly intoxicated.
The motion unanimously passes.
— Zach Bright (@zachbright_) July 7, 2021
“I think being the gold standard with regard to combat sports—both [Mixed Martial Arts] and boxing—being a world-class destination, and having our state show the leadership and the fortitude in light of some of the recently circumstances we’ve all seen on television, we should be always at the forefront of these issues,” Commission Chair Stephen Cloobeck said at Wednesday’s meeting.
“I believe it’s warranted and merited since it is legal in this state,” he said. “I think we need to jump forward being the leader as we’ve always been.”
Drug tests for marijuana will continue under the commission’s policy for data collection purposes for six months—without fighters being punished for positive results—after which time NAC, which regulates boxing, mixed martial arts and other combat sports, will revisit whether such ongoing screening is necessary.
This action comes after NAC requested information from state officials about its authority to remove marijuana from the banned substances list. In a response last month, a representative from the state attorney general’s office said the commission could, in fact, make the