I wanted to get some clarification on this new testing policy being employed by the Vancouver Athletic Commission (VAC) ahead of UFC 131. Jonathan Tweedale, the commissioner, tells me a number of things to note about this new procedure:
1. This new policy is not Canada-wide. Each athletic commission in Canada has their own rules and procedures and Vancouver has independently elected to employ the stated anti-doping policy.
2. This new policy slightly differs from how matters were conducted at UFC 115, the last time the UFC held an event in Vancouver. Previously, a medical director of the commission and his personnel oversaw sample collection, not the CCES. This new anti-doping policy is an upgrade in the comprehensiveness, transparency and management from the previous rules that were in place during the UFC's last visit. Lastly, last year's testing was not conducted according to WADA's International Standard for Testing for 'in competition' and the samples were not sent to the only WADA-accredited lab in Canada.
Speaking of which, it should be noted that the VAC's testing is not based on WADA's International Standard as such. It's based on WADA's International Standard only for 'in competition'. What's the difference? The International Standard includes rules governing out-of-competition testing, something the commission is not addressing at this time.
3. The VAC will also be conducting both random AND targeted testing at UFC 131. Fighters who are selected for either random or targeted testing will not be informed until immediately AFTER their fight.