1. General Principles
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”) Policy for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (the “UFC TUE Policy” or “Policy”) is based upon the relevant provisions of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (the “UFC ADP”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (“ISTUE”). This Policy is informed by the following general principles which provide the context for the Policy. To the extent that this UFC TUE Policy or the ADP conflicts with the ISTUE, this UFC TUE Policy or the ADP, as applicable shall prevail.
It is each Athlete’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited Substance enters his or her body and that no Prohibited Method is Used. Athletes are responsible for any Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers found to be present in their Samples and/or Prohibited Method Used or Attempted to be Used.
Athletes with a Therapeutic need for the use of a Prohibited Substance and/or a Prohibited Method must request a Therapeutic Use Exemption (“TUE”) from USADA prior to the Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method, except as provided in Section 3 with respect to the processing of applications for retroactive TUEs. All TUE applications will be evaluated by the Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (“TUEC”) established by USADA.
If emergency or urgent treatment of an acute medical condition of an Athlete requires the Use of a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method, the Athlete must submit a TUE application to USADA with full medical documentation from the emergency or urgent treatment as soon as possible after the start of the treatment. In such cases, the decision for the TUE request will be made by the TUEC after treatment has taken place.
WARNING: Because excretion rates for various substances vary between individuals, for substances which are prohibited only In-Competition, Athletes are advised to ensure sufficient time for any such substance to clear their body before participating in a Bout in order to avoid an anti-doping policy violation. Of course, discontinuance of a medication can also have adverse health consequences and should never be undertaken without consultation with the Athlete’s physician and a full appreciation of the risks involved. The only completely safe method for an Athlete to Use a Prohibited Substance and/or Prohibited Method without risking an anti-doping policy violation is to obtain a TUE prior to Use.
A complete list of definitions that are relevant to this UFC TUE Policy can be found in Appendix 1 of the UFC ADP. In addition, the definitions listed below have particular importance in applying this Policy. Throughout this Policy and as demonstrated in this Section below, terms defined in the UFC ADP are written in italics and terms specific to this UFC TUE Policy are underlined.
Adverse Analytical Finding: A report from a WADA-accredited laboratory or other WADA-approved laboratory that, consistent with the International Standard for Laboratories and related Technical Documents, identifies in a Sample the presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers (including elevated quantities of endogenous substances) or evidence of the Use of a Prohibited Method.
Athlete: Any fighter who has executed a Promotional Agreement with the UFC to participate as a fighter in a UFC Bout.
Athletic Commission: Any regulatory body established or recognized by a state or other governmental entity with authority to regulate, approve, sanction or license mixed martial arts competitions or the Participants in those competitions.
Bout: A mixed martial arts contest or exhibition promoted or otherwise conducted by UFC.
In-Competition: “In-Competition” means the period commencing at noon on the day prior to the scheduled start of the Fight Card on which a Bout is contested and ending upon the completion of the post-Bout Sample or Specimen collection. If a post-Bout Sample or Specimen collection is not initiated by USADA within a reasonable time, which will not exceed one hour following an Athlete’s post-Bout medical clearance, then the In-
Competition period shall expire at that time.
Therapeutic: Of or relating to the medically-justified treatment of a medical condition by remedial agents or methods; or providing or assisting in a cure within the standard of care by a licensed physician.
TUE: Therapeutic Use Exemption, as described in [UFC ADP] Article 4.4.
TUEC: The panel of medical professionals established by USADA to consider applications for TUEs.
Use: The utilization, application, ingestion, injection or consumption by any means whatsoever of any Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method.
3. Policy for UFC Athletes
USADA will process TUE applications for UFC Athletes in accordance with this UFC TUE Policy and when practical consistent with the ISTUE.
A UFC Athlete may apply to USADA for a TUE for any Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method at any time; however, such applications should be complete and received by USADA in accordance with the following timeline:
a. At least twenty-one (21) days in advance of the Athletes intended Use of the prohibited medication when the Athlete is not scheduled to participate in a Bout; or
b. As soon as practicable when the Athlete is scheduled to participate in a Bout with less than ninety (90) days advance notice.
USADA will consider late filed or applications for retroactive TUEs; however, the Athlete does so at his or her own risk as USADA makes no guarantee regarding the processing of a TUE under such circumstances.
USADA will make best efforts to expedite late filed TUE requests in advance of the Athlete’s intended Use based on exceptional circumstances but makes no guarantees regarding the processing of TUE applications under expedited timeframes.
Applications for TUEs will only be granted where the Therapeutic Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method meet the following criteria:
- The Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method in question is prescribed to treat a diagnosed medical condition supported by relevant clinical evidence.
- The Therapeutic Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method will not, on the balance of probabilities, produce any additional enhancement of performance beyond what might be anticipated by a return to the Athlete’s normal state of health following the treatment of the medical condition.
- The Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method is an indicated treatment for the medical condition, and there is no reasonable permitted Therapeutic alternative that is reasonably accessible to such Athlete.1
- The necessity for the Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method is not a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior Use (without a TUE) of a substance or method which was prohibited at the time of such Use.
Furthermore, applications for retroactive TUEs will only be considered where the Therapeutic Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method complies with the conditions outlined above for a prospective TUE.
Athletes are cautioned that the Use of a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method without prior TUE approval is at their own risk and that the only way to ensure such Use will not result in an anti-doping policy violation is by obtaining a TUE prior to the Use of any such substance or method.
1 – The TUEC will consider the Athlete’s nationality, the Athlete’s primary location of residence and, to the extent possible, applicable local laws.
4. Coordination with Athletic Commissions
UFC or USADA will attempt to coordinate TUE applications with applicable Athletic Commissions. UFC Athletes are on notice, however, that because UFC and USADA do not control Athletic Commission decisions to recognize a UFC TUE or to grant their own TUEs, UFC Athletes should not use any substance or method prohibited by an Athletic Commission unless they are certain that an Athletic Commission TUE is in place. In addition, any Athlete who obtains a TUE from an Athletic Commission or other Anti-Doping Organization, will still need to apply for a UFC TUE. As a condition of USADA’s consideration of TUE applications, Athletes acknowledge and agree that their TUE applications and other information submitted or considered in connection with those applications, including decisions of the USADA TUEC, may be shared with any applicable Athletic Commission.
In the case of any TUE denial, an Athlete will be provided a detailed explanation as to why their TUE application did not meet the criteria for approval. Any Athlete may request further information about a denial and may request a medical review from USADA by contacting the USADA Science Director.
Athletes may appeal a TUE denial pursuant to the Hearing Protocol in Annex A of the UFC ADP after exhaustion of the administrative review provided in the UFC ADP and in this UFC TUE Policy.
6. Effective Date
The effective date of this UFC TUE Policy (version 2) shall be June 1, 2021. This Policy shall not apply retroactively to matters pending before June 1, 2021.
This UFC TUE Policy may be amended from time to time by the UFC. All amendments to this UFC TUE Policy shall be effective no earlier than thirty (30) days after publication on the UFC anti-doping website (www.UFC.USADA.org), with the precise effective date (and version) to be indicated in Section 6, above. It is each Athlete’s responsibility to regularly check UFC’s anti-doping website to ensure that they are consulting the most up to date version of this and other anti-doping related policies.