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Do UFC fighters have to take drug tests? Can they take testosterone or steroids?

The UFC has strict drug testing policies, and their fighters are tested multiple times a year. Regardless, many of the UFC fighters still use steroids.

HOUSTON, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 11: Bobby Green weighs in prior to UFC 271 at Toyota Center on February 11, 2022 in Houston, Texas.   Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP
Carmen MandatoAFP

The UFC doesn’t play around when it comes to drug testing. Regardless of whether a fighter is a champion, an up-and-coming fighter, or just a beginner, the same rules apply to everyone.

All UFC fighters get tested for Performance-Enhancing Drugs(PEDs) in and off competition. The UFC has cooperated with USADA, the biggest anti-doping agency, since 2015. They handle everything from testing, analyzing the results, and applying consequences to the fighters who violate the rules. If a fighter tests positive for PEDs, USADA will suspend the fighter. And depending on the type of violation, how long the fighter stays out of the sport can vary.


Do UFC Fighters Get Drug Tested?

The USADA testing protocol starts as soon as the fighter signs with the UFC. UFC fighters get randomly tested for PEDs several times a year on average. USADA performs five tests per fighter annually, a minimum of 2,750 tests, keeping in mind that some fighters get tested more often than others.

Jointly, the UFC and USADA spend a lot of resources to keep the sport and their fighters clean. When USADA agents travel around the world to test fighters on any day, in any place, fighters have to comply, take a break from whatever it is that they’re doing at that moment, and provide urine or blood samples to USADA officials. The UFC has the right to ask their fighters for extra tests the state athletic commission performs.

Can UFC fighters refuse a drug test?

If a UFC fighter refuses a test or flees the scene, they receive a lengthy suspension. However, if USADA notifies a fighter that they have been selected for testing, fighters have the right to delay it under a valid reason.

Can UFC fighters take testosterone or steroids?

Many UFC fighters still use steroids to enhance their fighting performance, even though it is illegal in the sport. It is not easy to determine if a fighter is using them, but they might not receive penalties when caught. Like other professional athletes in various sports, UFC fighters survive based on their athletic performance. Therefore, some are interested in taking steroids that help lessen their body fat, build strength, and get larger muscles.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy is a steroid that helps build strength and muscle, but it is not the same as steroid abuse; TRT is legal.

Fighters who use TRT must apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) through whatever state athletic commission they are fighting under. The UFC does additional testing throughout the fighter’s training camp to ensure their testosterone levels don’t exceed legal limits.