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Commission to reevaluate Nevada's drug testing policy for fighters

Lavar Johnson tested positive for elevated testosterone levels after his UFC 157 fight. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC) Lavar Johnson tested positive for elevated testosterone levels after his UFC 157 fight. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

The Nevada State Athletic Commission Steroid and Drug Testing Advisory Panel is reevaluating the state’s drug testing policy which allows athletes a testosterone-to- epitestosterone level of 6-to-1, compared with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s allowable limit of 4:1.

The panel made recommendations Thursday to begin researching the baseline testosterone-to- epitestosterone levels of combat sports participants, including boxers, mixed martial artists, and kickboxers.  The panel recommended anonymously testing a collection of past samples taken from athletes competing in Nevada to develop a profile of hormone levels specific to fighters.  The idea, says Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Keith Kizer, is to gather data specific to the average fighter rather than the population at large.

If the commission is not able to test the samples collective from previous fights, the panel suggested using samples from future fights to create the baseline.

The information could be the first step in lowering Nevada’s allowable levels, which are higher than those permitted in Olympic sports and by Major League Baseball.

The advisory panel will meet in late April to begin discussing its marijuana policies. All recommendations by the panel are just that -- recommendations -- and require adoption by the full Nevada State Athletic Commission.

-- Melissa Segura

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