The Nevada Athletic Commission’s reevaluation of its rules around pot use came too late for one heavyweight UFC fighter, who had a positive cannabis test in the spring.
On Wednesday, the commission unanimously ruled to suspend Chris Barnett, three months after it made the decision to remove cannabis from its list of performance-enhancing drugs.
According to a commission spokesperson, Barnett was given a 4.5-month suspension and fined a total of $1,036.08. His positive cannabis test came from his UFC debut on May 22.
The commission approved the new rules in July, so Barnett wasn’t exempt and retroactively suspended as a result.
His suspension ends Oct. 6.
MMA Fighter reports that Barnett could be the last fighter suspended for cannabis in Nevada.
But he isn’t the sole fighter to be suspended for weed use following Nevada’s updated policy.
In August, lightweight Yancy Medeiros and featherweight Justin Jaynes both received a 4.5-month suspension for pot. According to MMA Junkie, Medeiros was fined a total of $2,690.72 and Jaynes a total of $1,245.36.
Nevada’s lighter stance on weed has followed a trend in 2021, as more organizations take a second look at their cannabis rules.
At the beginning of the year, the UFC changed its anti-doping policy to no longer punish fighters for positive tests of carboxy-THC.
In March, the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) and Combative Sports’ Medical Advisory Committee recommended cannabis be treated as a lesser offence compared to other drugs.
The Florida State Boxing Commission stopped testing for weed in May, following the ABC’s recommendation.
And last week, the World Anti-Doping Agency said it would launch a review of its ban on cannabis next year, following the high-profile suspension of U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson.