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UFC admonishes Texas commission in statement on Cortney Casey, requests reversal of decision

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The UFC called on the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to reverse its decision on Cortney Casey.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Nearly a week has passed since the UFC announced that strawweight Cortney Casey had been exonerated in her controversial UFC 211 doping case, yet the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) still has not reversed its decision. And the UFC isn’t happy about it.

On Thursday, the promotion released a statement admonishing the TDLR for its handling of the case and officially requesting that the commission “reverse its ruling and exonerate Cortney of any wrongdoing.”

That statement can be read below.

“UFC has made it very clear that it takes anti-doping very seriously, instituting the most comprehensive anti-doping program in sports. One of the keys to this program, and any effective, world-class program, is ensuring that all athletes are treated to proper due process.

“UFC strawweight Cortney Casey’s recent case, stemming from her fight in Dallas on May 13, 2017, is a perfect example of the type of negative and damaging backlash for an athlete resulting from a false-positive. There is no better example than this for the need to have proper due process and testing in combat sports and professional sports anti-doping.

“Following the results of the additional tests at the WADA accredited laboratory, proving that Cortney did not cheat nor break any rules, UFC is requesting that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) immediately reverse its ruling and exonerate Cortney of any wrongdoing.

“UFC has offered, and continues to offer Texas and any other Commission and regulatory body around the world, the world-class expertise and experience of USADA, to assist them in properly carrying out anti-doping efforts in their state or country.”

UFC president Dana White tweeted out the statement Thursday with an additional message that “the Texas Commission needs to get their sh*t together for the protection of our athletes.”

In May, the TDLR handed down a three-month suspension to Casey and overturned her UFC 211 win over Jessica Aguilar after the commission erroneously ruled that Casey failed a drug test, citing an testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio of hers that came back at 5-to-1, higher than the 4-to-1 threshold allowed in Texas. However, that logic was flawed.

UFC vice president Jeff Novitzky and various doping experts subsequently explained that a high T:E ratio is doesn’t automatically constitute a testing failure.

Casey’s ‘B’ sample ultimately underwent isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) testing at the WADA-accredited SMRTL lab in Salt Lake City, as IRMS testing is the preferred method of determining whether a high T:E ratio was caused by exogenous testosterone. The test concluded that Casey did not have any prohibited substances in her system, and both the UFC and USADA officially cleared Casey of any wrongdoing.

The TDLR still has yet to follow suit though, leading Novitzky to proclaim that it was “sickening how Cortney has been treated by the Texas commission throughout this.”

The UFC doubled down on that sentiment Thursday, calling for the resolution of a situation that has been an ongoing nightmare for Casey, one which has effectively tarnished the best win of her career.

“This was my breakthrough performance in the eyes of most people,” Casey said Monday on The MMA Hour. “[Aguilar] was a highly ranked fighter and this is a huge positive in my career and it’s just been tarnished by someone's stupidity on the situation. And just a lack of professionalism at the end of the day with how things were handled.”

“I’ve been exonerated by the UFC, which is great. I’ve been exonerated by USADA, which is awesome. But at the end of the day, the people that need to be making an apology haven’t, the ones that made the statement.”

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