Last month, the Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP) released a statement calling for the indefinite suspension of all combat sports events.
Since that statement, the UFC has been pushing forward to bring back events, which are scheduled to start on Saturday, and now the ARP has softened their stance on combat sport.
The statement from the ARP was released on its website on Saturday and stated that “although it is impossible to eliminate all risk associated with COVID-19, precautions can be made to reduce the risk of viral transmission.”
The complete statement posted on the ARP website is below.
The Association of Ringside Physicians recognizes that the circumstances regarding the COVID-19 pandemic are continually changing and evolving. As stay-at-home orders are relaxed, athletic commissions and combat sports governing bodies are looking to restart operations.
Although it is impossible to eliminate all risk associated with COVID-19, precautions can be made to reduce the risk of viral transmission. Many athletic commissions, organizations and promotors are developing new guidelines to limit exposure to all involved at events, including athletes, their teams, commission personnel and support staff.
Combat sports event procedures regarding COVID-19 precautions should be actively developed, regularly reviewed and modified based on the evolving knowledge and scientific evidence put forth by public health authorities. These guidelines should also involve local and regional public health officials as well as infectious disease experts and epidemiologists.
Our thoughts continue to be with those who have been and will be affected by this disease. We remain steadfast in our mission to serve, protect and educate all involved in combat sports. If any combat sports organization would like help in developing its guidelines, the Association of Ringside Physicians can provide assistance and guidance.