In the upcoming year, USADA will be making an exit from their relationship with the UFC. This will make way for its successor, the Combat Sports Anti-Doping to collaborate with the UFC.
Heading this new agency is a figure who previously served as the lead interrogator of Sadam Hussein for the FBI.
Amidst this transition, interesting and often comical anecdotes linked to the USADA era continue to surface as we enter 2024. Paige VanZant is renowned for her tenure in the UFC and is currently affiliated with Bare Knuckle FC (BKFC)
She recently related the less-than-glamorous aspects of being subject to anti-doping measures.
VanZant gained prominence during her UFC stint from 2014 to 2020. She then branched out into the realms of reality television with appearances on shows like ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘Chopped’. But she revealed that her experience in the world of anti-doping was far from glamorous.
Recalling an incident before her match against Alex Chambers at UFC 191 in Las Vegas, VanZant shared her unsettling encounter with USADA’s stringent protocols. ”
She recounted on her YouTube channel: “I was about to fight Alex Chambers [at UFC 191] in Las Vegas, Nevada. And this was right when USADA got implemented in UFC.
“… testers show up right after weigh-ins. So, I’m in my hotel room rehydrating. Every single time I would weigh-in, I would try to rehydrate, instantly sick.”
VanZant elaborated further, explaining the stringent measures under USADA.
Such encounters became a norm under USADA’s protocols, as they rigorously verified the authenticity of the samples provided by competitors. The process often involved meticulous scrutiny, especially within the confines of the bathroom.
At times, intervention was necessary to uphold the stringent measures in place.
Looking ahead to 2024, the focus will shift to how closely the new UFC anti-doping program will monitor athletes. While a stringent approach is necessary, finding a balance to ensure compliance without intrusive measures might be favorable moving forward.