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USADA to continue testing UFC fighters during coronavirus pandemic


In a video released Wednesday, USADA CEO Travis Tygart said they will continue to test athletes during the coronavirus pandemic as long as it remains safe and possible, which includes UFC fighters and those preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.

In the four minute video, Tygart said that any USADA collection officer showing any sign of the COVID-19 virus will be collecting samples and, where available, agents will wear personal protective gear like masks and gloves while attempting to maintain a six foot distance.

One potential issue not addressed is with those who carry the virus that are asymptomatic which could include their testers. Additionally, the availability of the protective gear is another problem given the shortages that many hospitals are running into.

Given that UFC fighters are around the world, that the virus has reached all corners of that world, and the organization's past conflicts with fighters on collecting samples raises concerns as to whether this is the right thing to do at the current time.

The UFC ran an empty arena show this past Saturday in Brasilia, Brazil, but had to postpone their next three shows after pushing hard not to do so. As of this point, UFC's next show on the books is mid-April's UFC 249 which doesn't have a home following New York State's ban on public assemblies of 50 people or more.