PFL hires USADA to run its drug-testing program to combat recent doping scandals

1 years ago By Sports Desk

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) has finally partnered with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The promotion recently announced the changes following a number of their athletes testing positive for PEDs during the 2023 season. 

PFL fighters were informed of the decision via an email memo explaining how things would work going forward. PFL president Ray Sefo notified the fighters and their teams that the partnership was effective immediately. They will be required to undergo “initial educational sessions” as early as this week. 

According to ESPN MMA, the PFL’s drug-testing program will be similar to the one used by the UFC. However, there will be minor changes to accommodate the promotion’s season-and-playoffs format. The memo informed the fighters that they would be drug-tested out of competition but won’t have to update the agency on their whereabouts continuously.

Athletes must give USADA their home and gym addresses, and cannabis will be prohibited in competition. However, cannabis use will only be flagged if used for performance-enhancing reasons. 

These changes come after the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) suspended ten fighters for failing drug tests in the first half of the PFL 2023 season. Former champions Bruno Cappeloza and Rob Wilkinson were among those found guilty. 

Former PFL light heavyweight champion Rob Wilkinson responds to his shocking suspension 

Former PFL light heavyweight champion Rob Wilkinson tested positive for banned substances last month. The promotion removed the ex-UFC middleweight contender from PFL 4 and the 2023 season due to his drug offense.

As per the NSAC, Wilkinson will be suspended for nine months. Moreover, he will have to hand over a fine of $7500 with $326 in prosecution fees and $495 for drug testing fees. The governing body also ordered him to undergo a clean test before he could compete again Nevada. 

‘Razor’ addressed his punishment and penned a heartfelt message to his fans, explaining his absence from PFL 2023. He posted a picture on Instagram accompanied by a caption that read:

“Firstly, I would like to thank you for your support over my career, and I want to provide you all with an explanation for my nonattendance in the 2023 PFL season. After my last fight on April 1st, I failed an in-competition drug test, which resulted in my suspension for the rest of the 2023 PFL season… I want to emphasize that I wholeheartedly accept full responsibility for the choices I have made and the consequences that have come with it.” (Via MMA Junkie)

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