Quick Take: How much does “USADA” cost the UFC?

Update: July 2018, see foot of article

Im often asked “How much does the USADA anti-doping program cost the UFC?”

Fortunately, the US Anti Doping Agency produce yearly financial reports, so while we cannot work out exactly how much the program costs we can get a pretty good idea.


In 2013 and 2014 USADA’s third party income (so income ignoring federal grants and their contract with US Olympic committee) was $1.8m (2013) and $2.6m (2014)

By 2015, the first half year of the UFC Program, that amount had risen to $4.3m (an increase of $1.7m) and in 2016, the first full year of the UFC program was a massive $6.3m (an increase of $3.7m versus 2014)


Can we attribute the whole of that $3.7m increase to the UFC program? Probably not. USADA has consistently increased revenue over the past few years so its likely that other sources of testing income are responsible for at least part of that.

For example, in 2016 with WADA accredited lab in Brazil losing its accreditation, testing of those samples was moved to US labs. Its entirely possible that USADA would  have been logistically involved in the movement and administration of those samples bringing in some extra revenue. Its hard to tell.

Some rudimentary mathematics…


Between 2012 and 2014 USADA’s income from other sources increased year on year by an average of 27%. If we applied that same increase to 2015 and 2016 (which is a huge assumption), that would leave $1m (2015) and $2m (2016) to be made up by the UFC.

Its really hard to say exactly, but what we probably can say:

Its almost certainly higher than $2 million per year

Its probably not as much as $3.5 million per year


At $3m a year, that works out at around $1000 per sample collected


Update July 2018: USADA have now released the 2017 annual report so we have an additional years data to look at.

Using three scenarios, (1) UFC contribution as 2.5m per year, (2) contribution at 3m per year and (3) contribution at 4m per year we can see how it would have effected other revenues and growth on those revenues.


The UFC program costing $2.5m per year would leave USADA with slightly lower year on year growth from other areas. At $3m per year USADA’s year on year growth in other areas would decrease to 2012 levels, and at $4m a year, USADA’s year on year other revenue would drop slightly in 2016 and 2017.

$3.0 million at this point seems the most likely cost..