The Ultimate Fighting Championship is not happy with the way the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation handled the Cortney Casey situation at UFC 211.
A couple weeks after Casey earned a unanimous verdict over Jessica Aguilar at UFC 11 in Dallas on May 13, the TDLR flagged the strawweight for a testosterone to epitestosterone ratio of 5.4:1. The allowable limit in Texas is 4:1. As a result, Casey’s victory was overturned to a no contest, although Casey did not disclose taking a banned substance.
However, according to a report from MMAFighting.com, Casey’s ‘B’ sample came back negative for banned substances following isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) testing done at a WADA-accredited SMRTL lab in Salt Lake City. The IRMS test was necessary to determine if Casey took anything illegal or if her epitestosterone level was simply low.
While the UFC cleared Casey, the TDLR has yet to lift the sanctions it imposed on the six-time Octagon veteran. UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky criticized the commission in the MMAFighting.com report for releasing the results and punishing Casey before a second test could be conducted.
On Thursday, the Las Vegas-based promotion released a lengthy statement requesting that the TDLR “reverse its ruling and exonerate Casey of any wrongdoing.” The full statement is as follows:
“UFC has made it very clear that it takes anti-doping very seriously, instituting the most comprehensive anti-doping program in sports. One of the keys to this program, and any effective, world-class program, is ensuring that all athletes are treated to proper due process.
“UFC strawweight Cortney Casey’s recent case, stemming from her fight in Dallas on May 13, 2017, is a perfect example of the type of negative and damaging backlash for an athlete resulting from a false-positive. There is no better example than this for the need to have proper due process and testing in combat sports and professional sports anti-doping.
“Following the results of the additional tests at the WADA accredited laboratory, proving that Cortney did not cheat nor break any rules, UFC is requesting that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) immediately reverse its ruling and exonerate Cortney of any wrongdoing.
“UFC has offered, and continues to offer Texas and any other Commission and regulatory body around the world, the world-class expertise and experience of USADA, to assist them in properly carrying out anti-doping efforts in their state or country.”
Casey had been tested multiple times by USADA throughout her UFC tenure and had not failed any of the previous screenings. As it stands, the 30-year-old fighter is 2-3 with one no contest during her time in the Octagon.