By Zach Arnold | December 14, 2011
Tuesday proved to be quite the day on the radio circuit if you were interested in commentary about the situation between Alistair Overeem and the Nevada State Athletic Commission over drug testing. If you didn’t follow the details of Monday’s NSAC meeting, read the details here.
Keith Kizer appeared on Mauro Ranallo’s show yesterday and stated the following:
“Well, it depends on what you’re testing for. If you’re testing for steroids, then it’s obvious that urine’s the better test. There’s, yeah, no doubt about that, yeah. In fact, those blood tests done by [Overeem's] doctor wasn’t even for steroids, per se. It was done for testosterone, DHEA, FSH, LH, and I think prolactin as well. And, again, all those came back in normal ranges and that was good to see that, as well. But, a) it wasn’t a steroid test and b) it wasn’t a urine test and even if you tested for steroids in the blood, they usually get out of your system within 6-to-20 hours as opposed to the urine test where it takes quite a while to get out of your system, maybe in some cases months.”
“It’s not like there’s sports not going on in Holland. Of course, they’re big in things like soccer and volleyball and bicycle racing and other things as well where they do [perform] drug testing, so I’m not certain why his doctor ordered that test other than just perhaps it’s something his doctor’s not familiar with or doesn’t get involved with. Maybe he’s a general practitioner, I don’t know the answer. But, nonetheless, it was the wrong test and he needs to jump through these initial hurdles because of that. So, it may be a situation where what I’m going to try to do is develop some sort of written protocol to send to these fighters explaining exactly what the basic steroid panel is. I think most doctors would understand that but if there a couple out there that don’t the fighter can take this written protocol with him or her to the doctor’s office and it and lay out exactly what types of diuretics, what kind of steroids, and what type of masking agencies that are done on the basic steroid panel that Quest does and Labcore does and a lot of other, the UCLA lab, they all kind of follow the same guidelines via WADA. What’s tested in those three categories: steroids, diuretics, and masking agencies and that should be a benefit to everybody to have it written out.”
He would go on to say that Alistair Overeem would give a urine sample at a Quest Diagnostics accredited/affiliated lab in the UK and that the sample would be transferred to Atlanta for examination.
As Dr. David Black, the man who worked with the NFL & WWE in drug testing programs, said on 60 Minutes: testosterone is the base chemical of steroids. Blood testing also is better for HGH detection. It also happens to be an excellent barometer if you measure for hematocrit levels as Victor Conte has suggested. A hematocrit standard by athletic commissions would catch many more cheaters. It’s that simple.
But, no, urine tests are supposedly better at catching steroid users according to Keith Kizer. Loretta Hunt appeared on the radio show after Mr. Kizer’s interview and backed up his claims on the matter. Travis Tygart of USADA, of course, believes that you need both urine & blood testing for effective detection of drug abuse. Yes, urine testing can be useful — to a degree — if you use Carbon Isotope Ratio examination, as Don Catlin has backed. However, do you expect CIR tests to be done on all urine samples by various state athletic commissions? Unfortunately, no.
Regarding the claim about some half-life elements still existing in urine samples months after drug usage, you’re talking about boldenone (equipose). Only the stupidest of steroid users would get caught using it in MMA, given how long the half-life is (up to six months in your system).
There were some other incredible comments made by the Executive Director of the NSAC. He claimed that contacting representatives of fighters as opposed to the fighters themselves for getting the drug test samples is better because it doesn’t give fighters as much suspicion about an upcoming ‘random’ drug test request from the commission. I don’t even know where to begin in response to that line of thinking.
If you want random out-of-competition drug testing, you don’t give fighters or their reps any advance notice. You approach the fighter through the mail (with an immediate time demand) or approach them in person like you would when issuing a subpoena and you tell them where to go get tested immediately. If you can’t live up to that standard for administering such tests, then don’t call your drug testing procedure ‘random’ because it’s not. Again, the issue in the Overeem/NSAC case is that the commission, in my opinion, did not do its job in executing the drug test request or the procurement of the drug testing sample. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.
Another reason for immediation resignation (of Keith Kizer) is allowing Brock to take his urine sample three days late, no questions asked!
According to (Dave) Meltzer, Lesnar took his ‘random’ test 4 days after the notice from Kizer.
Eddie Goldman presented an evisceration of Keith Kizer’s arguments on his radio show and laid out just why the Nevada State Athletic Commission looked foolish during Monday’s agenda meeting.
Start of commentary
“First of all, they were discussing their so-called ‘random out-of-competition testing program.’ The fact is this program is a joke because they give the athletes notice. It’s not what WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and its affiliates do which is random, unannounced testing. That’s what people like Floyd Mayweather have insisted upon for his fights where they show up, unannounced, and they say you have to take the test right then and there. This is not what (Nevada’s) doing. They contact the representatives and they were bragging how within 24-to-48 hours they get this done. There’s a lot of stuff that goes out of your system within 24 hours, let alone 48 hours but they were bragging about this and it only involved urine testing and not blood testing. Remember the nonsense from Keith Kizer of the Nevada commission that they can get everything they want from urine testing, which of course is not true because there’s all kinds of banned substances that you need blood testing for and, in fact, the Nevada commission does blood testing for things like Hepatitis and HIV and things like that but for drug testing they don’t do it, they still refuse to do it. So, whom are they protecting?
“And, also, the fact that they give notice makes this so-called ‘random testing’ preposterous to even call it that and I e-mailed Victor Conte… and he wrote back:
‘I don’t know how it can be considered random drug testing if the athlete is given prior notice. It doesn’t make sense to me.’
“The commission said that there was not a sense of urgency on the representative of Alistair Overeem but the fact is [the commission] are not set up to deal with these situations internationally while Overeem was on his way to Holland. So, eventually, Overeem does take a test the following week and he said this was on November 23rd and he went to a hospital and it was a blood test, but again the Nevada commission wanted a urine test and they really didn’t give him instructions or a place on how exactly do you do this. This is because the Nevada State Athletic Commission are a bunch of political appointees in the state of Nevada, in the United States. They are trying to regulate an international sport where people like Overeem, who is from Holland… they’re trying to regulate this sport and they are not set up to do it and they end up looking like a bunch of clowns in trying to do it.”
The absurdity of sending Overeem to the UK for collecting a urine sample
“The fact is, there is drug testing in the Netherlands and the Netherlands is a signatory to the various protocols that the World Anti-Doping Agency has. In fact, if this pathetic commission knew how to use the Internet or more importantly cared about this…
“If they worked directly with WADA they would very easily find the WADA affiliate in the Netherlands called Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands (Logo Dopo Autoriteit). … There are all sorts of phone numbers and e-mail addresses on their (web site), so if you’re really working with them, if you’re really serious about this, it’s pretty easy to find who’s doing this in the Netherlands. It’s a very advanced country and they’re part of WADA, so it could be done. But the Nevada commission wants to pretend that they’re going to replicate their own international anti-doping network. It’s absolutely preposterous and absurd and that’s the real issue that they’re not working as part of WADA. They’re avoiding doing it.
“Now, WADA also has what’s called an Athlete Whereabouts program for just these kinds of situations because WADA’s involved with all sort of international federations and international sports and so athletes are traveling and living and training all around the world and you have to be able to get in touch with people and the athlete has to let your local affiliates of WADA know where they’re going to be if they’re not going to be training at home. So, they have this all set up, this has been done already. Instead of this nonsense that ‘well, (we) called his representative and Overeem was flying and the representative didn’t call back until Monday’, then they had to find Overeem in the Netherlands, this that and the other thing… all this stuff is a big excuse. These problems have been solved already, long before 2011. WADA’s Whereabouts program is also easily found on the Internet, the WADA web site wada-ama.org and you just look up their Whereabouts program.
“So, what’s happening here is that Overeem is taking the blame for the failure of the Nevada State Athletic Commission to do all of this kind of testing with WADA and follow their protocols. This is utterly preposterous.
“That’s the reality of having these local political hacks try to regulate international sports. This is bad governance, it’s terrible governance, and it’s something that can easily be done in a country like The United States.
“USA Wrestling, which is the governing body for wrestling in the United States and is part of the US Olympic committee and the International Olympic Committee and FILA, the international wrestling federation, and all of that has better drug testing for their own athletes through the Olympic program and they’re generally not a professional sport (although some of the wrestlers do get some stipends and do win some prize money for winning various tournaments in the Olympics and that sort of thing) but it’s not a professional sport like Mixed Martial Arts and boxing are.
“So, if USA Wrestling can do all of this and I applaud them for that, why can’t these commissions do it as well? There’s a reason. They don’t want to do it! And if you read a lot of the comments of people again in the so-called combat sports media they don’t want them to do it, either, which is why there’s so much confusion being spread on these issues.
“So, [the NSAC members} sound all haughty, if you heard any of that hearing or you read about it, they sound all serious and concerned and they tried to make Overeem apologize and all this kind of stuff. You know what? I don't blame the athlete on this because he went and he took a blood test! And then they said, 'oh, it's the wrong test.' So, then, he went to his own doctor to take the urine test because he said in Holland you just don't go to a facility. Well, maybe he didn't know that, maybe his own personal doctor didn't know that... But in the Netherlands the WADA affiliate would know that and [the NSAC] did not direct him to that, given the information on that, they did not direct him to the Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands which could have cleared up all this kind of stuff. In fact, they should be working with these various international affiliates of WADA but they’re not. They’re not even working with USADA, the US Anti-Doping Agency in The United States. So, how the hell are these local yokel political hacks from Las Vegas going to work with international affiliates in all these other countries, half of which they probably couldn’t even find on a map?
“It’s really pathetic and I think it speaks about how bad the governance is in the combat sports and Mixed Martial Arts and boxing that we’re still discussing these kinds of issues and, again, the media particularly in the United States is so poorly educated on this or don’t want to be educated on this that you’re not getting very much information on it.”