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USADA issues statement regarding drug testing protocols at UFC 249, future events

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will be out in full force when the UFC makes its return to action on May 9 in Jacksonville, Fla.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced changes to virtually every business on Earth and that’s no different when it comes to drug testing protocols in combat sports.

According to USADA officials, precautions will be in place for UFC 249 and the rest of the UFC schedule, which also includes shows on May 13 and May 16, but the fighters will be tested like usual.

“As we’ve stated, testing at UFC events is an essential part of a fair fight,” USADA officials said in a statement to MMA Fighting on Friday. “We will have doping control officers at UFC 249, and will do everything in our power to conduct testing at future events, of course taking appropriate precautions to protect the health and safety of everyone involved.”

USADA previously stated that testing would continue for UFC athletes during the current global pandemic with safety protocols in place to protect both their agents and the fighters who are giving samples.

With UFC 249 rapidly approaching, the promotion has informed fighters of all sorts of precautions being taken for fight week in Florida. While the promotion hasn’t explicitly stated that fighters would be tested for COVID-19, multiple sources previously confirmed those plans to MMA Fighting with athletes and their coaches expected to receive tests prior to arriving in Florida as well as additional testing done on site.

The USADA plans to continue testing athletes as well with the UFC serving as the first major sports league to get back to work during the ongoing pandemic.

UFC 249 will be headlined by a pair of title fights as Tony Ferguson battles Justin Gaethje for an interim lightweight title while Henry Cejudo faces off with Dominick Cruz for bantamweight gold.

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