Nevada Passes a Zero Tolerance Policy For Drug Use In Boxing


By Sean Crose

The Nevada Athletic Commission passed new rules which will come down hard indeed on professional fighters who engage in drug use. A panel consisting of four members made it clear that boxers and mixed martial artists who employ marijuana, cocaine, opiates, diuretics, anabolic steroids and amphetamines will be held to task. The same will apply for those who use “masking agents” to hide the use of banned substances.

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As they appear in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the penalties will be nothing to scoff at:

ANABOLIC STEROIDS (HGH, Testosterone)

First offense — Three-year suspension, 50-75 percent fine of purse
Second offense — Four-year suspension, 75-100 percent fine
Third offense — Lifetime suspension, 100 percent fine

AVOIDING TESTING-DETECTION

First offense — Four-year suspension, 75 percent fine of purse
Second offense — Lifetime suspension, 100 percent fine

STIMULANTS (cocaine, amphetamines)

First offense — Two-year suspension, 35-45 percent fine of purse
Second offense — Three-year suspension, 50-60 percent fine
Third offense — Lifetime suspension, 100 percent fine

SEDATIVES. MUSCLE RELAXANTS, OPIATES (includes Marijuana)

First offense — 18-month suspension, 30-40 percent fine of purse
Second offense — Two-year suspension, 40-50 percent fine
Third offense — Three-year suspension, 60-75 percent fine
Fourth offense — Lifetime suspension, 100 percent fine

DIURETICS (used to cut weight)

First offense — Two-year suspension, 30-40 percent fine of purse
Second offense — Three-year suspension, 40-50 percent fine
Third offense — Lifetime suspension, 100 percent fine

“We’re sending a message that it’s a zero-tolerance policy in Nevada,” said Anthony Marnell III. “If you’re in violation, we’re probably not going to see you again.” Those words, “zero-tolerance policy” indicate just how serious the commission is.

““I think,” claimed commissioner Skip Avansino, “we need to ratchet up the penalties because the current levels don’t seem to be any kind of deterrent.”

Combat sports, like many – if not most – of professional sports, have been plagued by banned substance use in recent years. Names like Lamont Peterson, Brandon Rios, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva have all been tainted by positive drug tests. Few would argue that those names simply scratch the surface.

Clearly, the Nevada commission has had enough. If fighters wish to engage in banned substance use, they’re not going to be treated warmly in the Battle Born State. “I’m extremely pleased, said commissioner Francisco Aguilar. “Now we’ll be able to implement the policies the way we need to. Everything will be clearly spelled out.”

Yet it’s also clear the commission wants combat sports professionals to be well aware of banned substances and the consequences of using them. Commissioner Pat Lundvall referred to education as “an important component in these changes. We want to make sure the athletes and their camps understand this is being done for their safety and benefit.”

Should a fighter decide not to pay up after being found to have engaged in substance use, that fighter will be suspended indefinitely. According to the Review Journal, “the NAC also approved changing the record of a fighter who is found guilty of violating the anti-doping policy from a no contest to a loss with an asterisk next to the loss to indicate the defeat was due to a positive drug test.”

“It’s a simple message,” Lundvall said. “Don’t dope.”

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