In a press conference that took place yesterday, Jeff Novitsky and Hunter Campbell from the UFC responded to USADA’s written statement.
Shocking the combat sports world across the board, USADA announced that a breakdown in their relationship with the UFC has led to their partnership ending at the start of January 2024.
The statement also made some quite serious allegations, pointing to the UFC’s stance on Conor McGregor returning to competition without a six-month period in the testing pool as a key reason for why they haven’t come to an agreement.
As well as addressing their claims, Novitsky and Campbell detailed the UFC’s plan for drug testing going forward, outlining an in-depth new system that had clearly been in the works for a while.
Speaking on how their relationship has been declining for some time, Campbell spoke about the way that USADA CEO Travis Tygart reacted to the news.
“We did this in the most thoughtful, comprehensive and frankly intellectual way and it was articulated to him that way so to answer your question, I don’t know what’s going on with him. I wouldn’t want to be him. I wouldn’t want to walk into a board meeting and have to address what’s gonna happen now. I don’t know what he’s going to do to fulfil a 30% shortfall in his budget.”
Hunter Campbell Says That USADA Have Failed To Deliver On Athlete Tracking Despite Millions Of Dollars In Investment
Crucially, in the press conference, Campbell went on to talk about one of his biggest issues with USADA and the work that they have done with the UFC over the years.
On the subject of technology, Campbell talks about the process of tracking UFC athletes in order to conduct their random drug tests, which is arguably the most crucial part of their entire drug-testing process.
He states that despite all of the money they have spent, there has been no fix in order to make this process better – which is a massive shortcoming on USADA’s behalf considering how that technology is available on most basic mobile devices currently.
Without directly accusing them of anything in particular, Campbell states that it is simply not good enough to spend that much money on a key improvement and for it to still not be implemented after USADA dragging their feet for over 2 years.
“I can’t help but think we were fulfilling, filling a lot of gaps that he was using for some other stuff I mean, Jeff talked about technology. In the meeting we had in May, I was more animated in that meeting because I’ve been told that we would have a technology solution for whereabouts for athletes going back almost two years now.
Jeff has the number but I think back in 2021, I think USADA spent over a million dollars maybe close to two million in quote ‘technology research’. I don’t have an app that the athletes can use that updates their whereabouts or give them to do so right now in the day and age we live in.
You can track your kids everywhere they go okay. You can track your spouse everywhere they go and I can’t track athletes? And we have guys in every country around the world like these are simple solutions when you’re paying millions and millions and millions of dollars that you expect and the answer isn’t, ‘ah we’re working on it’.
No. You’re working on it for three months, not two years.”
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