By Zach Arnold | April 4, 2012
- UFC’s current stance on the testosterone issue – not much of a plan
- Testosterone MMA HOF grows as backers ramp up the rhetoric
- Keith Kizer: Rampage’s testosterone cheerleading has led to more TUE requests
- Mike Kogan has had enough of Rampage’s complaining w/ UFC
- Did Rampage name-drop his UFC-friendly doctor?
- Rampage suddenly says the magic of T isn’t helping his knees
- How UFC can play the testosterone card against Rampage
- Testosterone capitulation: The UFC, Rampage, & Fighters Only
- Rampage’s exquisite timing in making his ‘final stand’ against UFC
- One enemy too many: UFC testosterone narrative backfiring
- Mood swings: Rampage rages against UFC
- Rampage Jackson admits TRT usage, claims his doctor works for UFC
- Five questions the media should ask about UFC testosterone story
- Victor Conte: Ongoing testosterone fiasco will haunt UFC; Dave Meltzer says Bristol Marunde fought on Strikeforce show w/ TUE for testosterone
What’s that, you say? MMA doesn’t have a major drug problem? MMA doesn’t have a major scandal brewing over testosterone usage?
Alistair Overeem reportedly tested over a 10/1 T/E ratio for high testosterone levels on a Nevada drug test today. He’s out of his upcoming fight against Junior dos Santos in late May. Since Overeem hadn’t been licensed yet by Nevada, he can’t be suspended — he just can’t get licensed. As Victor Conte recently noted, 6:1 T/E levels is practically rolling out a red carpet. To fail that standard is utterly confounding.
You can look at this development in one of two ways: a) the current drug testing protocols being used are working or b) if this many fighters are failing a standard IQ test, imagine what the hell would be revealed using a combination of blood testing & Carbon Isotope Ratio urine testing.
I choose door B. Keith Kizer will go around parading that his ‘out of competition’ drug testing works when basically he did the minimum by waiting for a bunch of fighters to show up in Nevada for a presser and then bringing out the urine collectors there. That’s not exactly ‘out of competition’ testing by traditional standards.
No wonder guys are crying foul about hypogonadism and trying to get a proverbial hall pass from athletic commissions to use testosterone as opposed to taking their chances just using a standard Vitamin S diet. The S means… Strikeforce… yeah, that’s the ticket.
Rich Hansen (MMA Torch): Let’s level the playing field in MMA by having mandatory testosterone usage
A person I respect very much tried to make the argument to me the other day in defense of TRT passes from AC’s and it can be paraphrased like this: “We know guys are using and aren’t getting caught, so we might as well encourage guys coming forward for some sort of regulation.” I view this as the ‘let’s legalize prostitution, let’s legalize marijuana use’ viewpoint. The problem with this is that those activities are about your personal activity. If you want to do those activities at your own risk, then so be it. But using testosterone and getting into a cage to beat the hell out of another fighter? That’s an issue of public safety and not simply individual responsibility.
There’s a very simply solution for fighters, promoters, and athletic commissions who want to clean up the sport – work with associations like USADA & the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, two organizations that do have the tools to test for the proper drugs that should be scrutinized. Trying to mete out punishment for a guy over marijuana metabolites on the same level as a steroid user is preposterous.
The biggest change in terms of drug testing for combat sports needs to be a tactical change. There should be a heavy emphasis on drug testing before a fight happens as opposed to simply waiting until after the fight actually occurs. If this is a health & safety issue (which it is), then out-of-competition drug testing combined with CIR/blooding testing protocols is the responsible method of drug testing. The current pre-fight/post-fight urine drug testing standards being used now simply is more about routine than it is about really attacking the problem of drug usage itself. The whole point of drug testing should be to keep the drug users out of the ring/cage and from brutalizing opponents while using PEDs.
As for what the media can do to help shine a light on drug use in the sport? Simple — start naming names of mark doctors who are hooking the fighters up with drugs. Put the spotlight on the drug fixers. If they want to be mark doctors, then call their bluff and out them. Give them the spotlight and let’s see if the old adage ‘be careful what you wish for’ applies for these doctors who like the fame of being associated with their favorite fighters.
However, will that happen? I have my doubts. The most common headline for today’s developments? “UFC boss irate with Alistair Overeem over failed drug test.”
There was an interesting quote from Dana White in this Kevin Iole article at Yahoo that just went online:
“We have to have a rapport with these guys,” White told Yahoo! Sports Wednesday. “We’re not the police, we’re not the commission, we’re not their mothers or their fathers. If you do something stupid, at least be honest with us so we can help you deal with it and fix it.
“He lied straight to our faces. That has me so [expletive] angry, I can’t even tell you. He said to us, ‘The last thing you have to worry about is me popping. I’m the most-tested athlete in the world.’ Yeah, [expletive] right.”
Interesting that Dana says he’s not the commission because, guess what, for many shows UFC is the commission. One of the major poster boys of testosterone usage, Chael Sonnen, is fighting in Brazil this Summer against Anderson Silva. Notice Chael’s not fighting in California, Nevada, or New Jersey? Rampage admitted that he fought at UFC Japan while using testosterone. Other guys who are using TRT also fought on overseas UFC events.
Bottom line — it’s getting harder by the day for people in the sport to MMA to defend the drug culture that currently exists. As Beau Dure adroitly noted, the MMA media’s stance of legalizing PED usage is in stark contrast to how writers in major sports feel about the issue. There’s great irony in seeing boosters of baseball get worked up over someone using testosterone in order to hit a homerun while boosters of MMA shrug at PED usage in a sport where one punch or kick could permanently disable an opponent.