Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Tough new penalties for drug cheats in combat sports! Zero Tolerance
May 15, 2015
Tough new penalties for drug cheats in combat sports! Zero Tolerance
The Nevada Athletic Commission voted Friday to impose stiffer penalties to boxers and MMA fighters who violate its drug policies.
The Nevada Athletic Commission Friday approved sweeping changes for dealing with drug cheats in combat sports, ratcheting up the suspensions and fines and ultimately calling for lifetime bans for repeat offenders. The commission approved tougher laws for violators who use sedatives, opiates, marijuana, diuretics used to cut weight, stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines, anabolic steroids and those who avoid testing and detection by using masking agents. The new policy goes into effect Sept. 1. The commission will continue to follow the standards set by the World Anti-Doping Agency as it pertains to what substances are banned for competition. “We’re sending a message that it’s a zero-tolerance policy in Nevada,” commissioner Anthony Marnell III said. “If you’re in violation, we’re probably not going to see you again.” The most severe penalties are for athletes who test positive for steroids and who attempt to avoid detection. A first-time conviction for steroids, which includes testosterone and human growth hormone, will be three years and a fine of 50 to 75 percent of the offender’s purse. A repeat offense will result in a four-year ban and 75 to 100 percent fine. A third offense will result in a lifetime ban. For athletes who try to avoid testing and detection, the first-time offense will be a four-year suspension and a 75 percent fine of the purse. A second violation will result in a lifetime ban and 100 percent fine of the purse. Athletes who are caught using pot, sedatives, muscle relaxants and sleep aids will be suspended for a minimum of 18 months and fined 30 to 40 percent of their purse. Currently, most cases result in anywhere from three to nine months and up to a 30 percent fine. The penalties increase for repeat offenders with a two-year suspension and 40-50 percent fine and three years and 60-75 percent for a third offense. A fourth offense will result in a lifetime ban and 100 percent loss of the athlete’s purse. For diuretics, the new penalties will be a two-year suspension and 30-40 percent fine of the purse for the first offense with second-time offenders sitting for three years and fined 40-50 percent. A third offense will result in a lifetime ban and 100 percent fine of the purse. As for stimulants, the first offense will be a two-year ban and 35 to 45 percent fine of the purse with a second violation resulting in a three-year suspension and a 50 to 60 percent fine. A third offense would result in a lifetime ban. “I don’t think you should condone cheating,” said commissioner Skip Avansino, who pushed for harsher penalties for first-time offenders than had originally been proposed. “I think we need to ratchet up the penalties because the current levels don’t seem to be any kind of deterrent.” Those athletes who are found guilty and refuse to pay their fines in a timely manner will be subject to indefinite suspension with that suspension to be honored by other state commissions. Currently, more than $200,000 in fines are still owed to the state. In addition to the penalties, 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. The commission will also increase its educational efforts on drugs by mandating that a fighter read literature or watch a soon-to-be-produced video as a condition to being licensed to compete in Nevada. http://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/athletic-commission-sets-zero-tolerance-policy-drug-users