Nate Diaz cleared to fight at UFC 244 after no anti-doping violation

Nate Diaz has been cleared to fight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 on Nov. 2 after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency determined he had not violated the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. 

The UFC 244 main event is expected to move forward as planned, following a report by UFC broadcast partner ESPN indicated that Diaz would not be penalized for an adverse finding on a recent drug test.

Diaz was found to have tested positive for LGD4033, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM), at the double-digit picogram level, considered a trace amount. That is well below the 100-picogram threshold laid out in the UFC anti-doping program. The UFC adopted thresholds for some substances in August after a rash of cases of contamination involving SARMs.

USADA confirmed that Diaz was clear to fight in a statement late Friday:

“Following Mr. Diaz’s public comments on Thursday we can confirm that he has not been sanctioned or provisionally suspended by USADA.

“As the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping program, USADA always provides every athlete the presumption of innocence. If the athlete publicly speaks of a potential violation first, then USADA may choose to comment.”

According to content partner Yahoo Sports, “Diaz took an organic, plant-based vegan multivitamin capsule that was found to be contaminated with LGD4033 by the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City. Matthew Fedoruk, the science director of USADA, sent a letter to the New York State Athletic Commission in which he said the amount of LGD4033 in Diaz’s system was roughly 10,000 times less than one therapeutic dose.”

UFC officials provided Fedoruk’s statement to Yahoo Sports.

Diaz is not the only fighter to have this happen. UFC welterweight Neil Magny also tested positive for a SARM earlier this year and was pulled form a fight. He was later cleared and reinstated.

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UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports that he was confident throughout the situation that Diaz wouldn’t have cheated and jeopardized the fight with Masvidal. 

“There was never a thought in my mind that Nate would cheat,” White said. “And I never doubted for a second that this fight wasn’t going to happen. The team did a great job looking into this and I’ll see you guys in New York [on Nov. 2].”

Diaz still must clear the hurdle of the New York State Athletic Commission, but UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell told Yahoo Sports that he has been in constant communication with the commission and is confident the adverse finding will not stop the bout from moving forward.