The Florida Boxing Commission voted on Tuesday to end the practice of drug screening professional boxers and MMA fighters for cannabis use, ESPN.com reports.
According to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation spokesperson Patrick Fargason, the commission’s vote was based on recommendations by the Association of Boxing Commissions’ medical advisory committee and the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) anti-doping policy, set by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Previously, a fighter’s positive drug test for THC — even trace amounts — was cause for a fine, suspension, and even the overturning of a competitor’s victory.
“We’re not testing for it. We’re not doing anything with it — period.” — Fargason, via ESPN.com
Florida’s rule change took effect immediately following Tuesday’s vote but only affects in-state boxing and MMA matches. The shift aligns Florida with the UFC, which announced in January that it had removed THC from its list of banned substances except in cases where an athlete uses it “intentionally for performance-enhancing purposes.”
Last year, UFC officials shared details about a CBD research partnership between the league and Canada’s Aurora Cannabis into the cannabinoid’s potential pain relief and potential anti-inflammation properties.
Other major sports leagues have also adjusted their rules for cannabis use:
- The NBA announced in December it would no longer test players for cannabis.
- The NFL’s latest collective bargaining agreement, announced in May, removed the threat of league suspension for players who test positive for cannabis use.
- The MLB announced last March that players are allowed to use cannabis in their personal lives but cannot partner with or accept sponsorships from cannabis companies.
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