The UFC held a special press conference on Wednesday, announcing plans for strict drug testing beginning this July.
The promotion will partner with the United States Anti-Doping Agency. New partnerships with the Fusionetics and EXOS will help provide fighters with tools both inside and outside the Octagon.
Below is the complete press release:
UFC announced today the unveiling of its new, ground-breaking Athlete Marketing and Development program, introduced to provide athletes with programs and tools to help them maximize their careers and succeed long-term, both inside and outside the Octagon®. In coordination with key organizations such as the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Fusionetics, and EXOS, UFC continues to be at the forefront of athlete development, making a significant investment into the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) and, most importantly, the athletes who step into the Octagon.
“Earlier this year, we vowed to take a leadership position on key areas impacting our sport, fighter health and fighter safety,” UFC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Fertitta said. “After months of hard work, and the addition of Jeff Novitzky, we have taken the opportunity to not only launch an elite anti-doping policy, but to invest, develop and deploy a year-round Athlete Marketing and Development program focused on the preparation, performance and education of our athletes.”
As UFC continues to evolve as one of the world’s leading sports organizations, it has engaged USADA to run the first all-encompassing, independently administered, anti-doping policy for a professional sports organization. The policy is a central part of UFC’s expanded efforts to protect the health and safety of its athletes, and to protect their right to compete with natural ability on an even playing field.
USADA, universally recognized as a premier anti-doping agency, will act as the independent administrator of the anti-doping policy, beginning July 1, 2015. As the policy ramps up, UFC and USADA will provide athletes with multiple levels of education including: written copies of the policy and accompanying materials, in-person presentations, hands-on demonstration of online and mobile applications, and on-line education courses. Jeff Novitzky, UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, will spearhead the roll out of the anti-doping policy.
UFC and USADA will release the finalized policy to the athletes, the media and the public by mid-June.
Fusionetics, developed under the leadership of Dr. Micheal A. Clark and a group of scientists, sports medicine professionals, coaches, athletes and business leaders, is a system that was designed and is utilized in the world of professional sports to help athletes improve their performance, speed up their recovery and avoid future injury. The newly announced partnership will allow UFC athletes to access Fusionetics facilities and interact with their staff, providing individualized digital plans that can be utilized on the athletes’ tablets and phones.
EXOS, the leaders in training, nutrition and physical therapy for elite athletes, have worked with some of the best professional athletes in sport and will now begin working closely with UFC athletes. The goal is to help UFC athletes maximize performance and minimize injury risk. During the last week of May, middleweight Luke Rockhold, former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans and newly signed middleweight CM Punk became the first UFC athletes to take part in a full week of training at the EXOS facilities in Phoenix learning innovative ways to train, plan and prepare for competition. Phase two of the program will include sending additional athletes to the EXOS facilities, as well as deploying a mobile EXOS team to some of the top gyms in the sport.
Lastly, on June 1 and 2, UFC gathered nearly fifty up-an-coming athletes for its Athlete Summit to unveil the new anti-doping policy and deploy its new Athlete Marketing and Development program. The two-day summit offered classes featuring experts in financial planning, nutrition, and health and wellness, press and social media training, and allowed for personal interaction with all three organizations: USADA, Fusionetics and EXOS.
This new program, and future initiatives to be developed under its umbrella, reflects UFC’s absolute on-going commitment to the health and well-being of its contracted athletes.