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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Nolan King

Nevada hands out first Power Slap drug suspension after fighter tests positive for cocaine

The Nevada Athletic Commission has issued its first drug suspension of a Power Slap fighter for cocaine use.

Jon Kennedy, a 37-year-old slap and MMA fighter from Iowa, tested positive in a drug test surrounding his knockout loss to John Davis, the NAC announced at a monthly meeting held Wednesday.

Kennedy was suspended nine months and fined a total of $476, which includes $326 in legal fees. He will be eligible to return to combat sports competition in the state on Aug. 30.

The positive test and subsequent disciplinary action marks the first time a sanction has been handed out since the commission voted to regulate slap fighting late last year. Kennedy was electronically present for Wednesday’s meeting.

When the Power Slap organization proposed slap fighting sanctioning in October 2022, one of the main arguments made by UFC executives, and agreed to by multiple commission members, was that the acceptance of slap fighting by a commissioning body would lead to key regulatory features in other combat sports – such as drug testing.

For now, Power Slap relies on the NAC’s drug tests rather than a specific drug-testing partner like U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which the UFC utilizes.

“There’s definitely going to be drug testing,” UFC president Dana White told reporters at an announcement news conference in November. “There’s drug testing just like every other combat sport that’s regulated. We haven’t gotten to a USADA level. USADA ain’t cheap.”

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