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« | Home | »

Keith Kizer: Sensitive, sanctimonious speech

By Zach Arnold | April 6, 2012

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“I like being on your show but I don’t like the falsehoods you spread.”

LISTEN TO MAURO RANALLO’S INTERVIEW WITH KEITH KIZER HERE (6 MIN TO 24 MINS) BEFORE YOU READ THIS POST IN FULL.

I make this request to you for a sound reason.

Important links of note/reference:

Go listen to the audio first.

Yesterday morning, we posted a series of questions on our site that the media should ask Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He announced that Alistair Overeem failed a pre-fight urine drug test due to an elevated T/E (testosterone/epitestosterone) ratio of 14:1. For most adult males, your T/E ratio is 1:1. For California & WADA & VADA testing, 4:1 to the T/E standard. In Nevada, it’s 6:1. I bring this up because it will be of good use to you in a second here.

Kizer and the NSAC are also preparing to go after Nick Diaz as a two-time marijuana offender.

Yesterday, we posted a series of questions that the media should ask Kizer about the Nick Diaz situation. To refresh your memory, those questions were the following:

  1. Do you consider marijuana to be a performance enhancing drug for fighters in combat sports?
  2. If you consider marijuana to be a PED, do you consider the effects of marijuana to be of similar enhancement to anabolic steroids & testosterone?
  3. Would you treat someone equally if they applied for a marijuana Therapeutic Use Exemption the same way you claim to treat guys who ask for testosterone TUEs?

The reason I do not deal with Keith Kizer directly is simple. All of the unstated reasons were on display in yesterday’s interview with Mauro Ranallo.

If I have to deal with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, I will deal with them using a Freedom of Information Act request or through other legal channels. That is the extent to which I will deal with that political body if I need to get answers to pertinent questions involving the state of Nevada vis-à-vis the fight business.

Yesterday morning when I posted pertinent questions that the media needs to ask Keith Kizer about the Nick Diaz case, I did not know ahead of time that he would be appearing on Mauro Ranallo’s radio show. I have challenged the media to press Kizer on a number of questions as opposed to letting his spin go unchallenged.

To Mauro’s strong credit, he read my post yesterday. He saw the questions I asked. He proceeded to ask Keith Kizer the questions we presented. The end result? In my opinion, the Executive Director had an ugly & regrettable performance. The level of disrespect shown toward Mauro for his line of questioning was palpable. Mauro asked the questions we have asked about testosterone & marijuana usage in MMA. He challenged Keith Kizer in a fair manner. When Mauro continued to ask important & completely relevant questions regarding drug testing protocols, Keith Kizer got agitated. He tried to challenge & attack the premise of what Mauro was asking by claiming Mauro’s questions were based on faulty or incorrect premises. He got testy & whiny in a hurry. Soon, he became dismissive and petulant.

Normally, I would be glad to sit here and transcribe every word of an interview like this. However, the gap between the words you would read here and the tone in which those words were expressed is so stark that it would be a complete injustice to do a transcript. I want you to hear the interview for many reasons. Not only will you understand where I am coming from in regards to the questions we asked yesterday, you will understand my stance on who I deal with and why I deal or don’t deal with certain people.

I encourage you to listen to the interview for yourself and compare it to my review here of some of the points raised in the interview. This way, you can make your own judgment and you can agree or disagree with where I’m coming in.

My message to Mauro is a simple one — I’m proud of you. You did your job. You asked the right questions. You asked smart questions. You raised points that other writers simply don’t want to be bothered to ask. What you got in return was execrable in behavior but enlightening in revelation.

What was asked and what was or wasn’t answered

1. Why won’t Nevada overturn the fight result of the Overeem/Lesnar contest?

One of the great parts of the interview Mauro did with Keith Kizer involved asking the Director why the result of the Alistair Overeem/Brock Lesnar fight won’t be overturned and how Overeem essentially can’t be suspended for the failed drug test because he isn’t licensed to fight in Nevada. Remember, Overeem fought on a temporary license against Brock.

Kizer responded by saying that Overeem had passed the drug tests for that conditional license to fight Brock and that since the license expired on December 31st, he met the drug testing requirements. Since the drug test failure happened after the Brock fight but before the JDS fight on May 26th, the punishment essentially will be enforced for what’s upcoming rather than changing the Lesnar result.

The way I laid out that answer was a lot more clear & blunt than the way Kizer answered it during the interview. For a period of about two minutes, I could picture the proverbial heads of Mauro’s listeners spinning in confusion to what Kizer was saying. This is when you could start sensing some drips of contentiousness.

I completely understand the agitation that so many have about this situation. Overeem doesn’t get a drug test on time last November, yet is granted a ‘conditional’ temporary license that lasts until 12/31? The Brock fight is on 12/30. Overeem wins the fight and doesn’t fail those early drug tests. He then fails a pre-fight drug test but he’s still classified as not being officially licensed but yet ‘conditionally’ temporarily licensed, which therein results in the fact that he can’t get an official license… but he can’t get suspended either for failing this pre-fight drug test.

2. Why does Nevada support a 6:1 T/E ratio over a 4:1 T/E ratio standard in California, WADA, and VADA?

Overeem’s T/E ratio was 14:1. Mauro then adroitly asked Kizer about why Nevada uses a 6:1 T/E ratio when California, WADA, and VADA use a 4:1 ratio. Kizer went to his standard boilerplate response that 6:1 was good enough for WADA in the past, so it shouldn’t be that big of an issue now even though WADA is now at 4:1. Then, he started to get frustrated while explaining his stance that he likes the 6:1 ratio because there are some people who have naturally higher levels of testosterone, so therefore he isn’t interested in having false positives for T/E levels. In other words, he believes that the 4:1 ratio is more likely to generate a false positive than a 6:1 ratio does.

When the name Dr. Margaret Goodman came up in regards to whether or not the NSAC would work with VADA, in a perfunctory tone Kizer said that she had previously worked for the commission and brought up the 6:1 ratio during her time there. The answer did not really seem to fit the question that Mauro had asked (he had stopped on the T/E questions) and Kizer’s answer was more or less that if promoters want to do supplemental drug testing, they would supported for their efforts.

In short, my opinion was it was a snippy remark along the lines ‘huh, she wasn’t bothered by the 6:1 ratio when she worked here, but now she wants it 4:1 for her deal?’ Your interpretation may vary on this one. That’s why I strongly encourage you to listen to the interview and not simply taking my word for it.

It is no secret that, indirectly, Kizer has expressed… displeasure?… about Dr. Goodman in previous interviews whether or not her name has or hasn’t come up. When Josh Gross interviewed Kizer for his mega-ESPN radio show on the topic of testosterone, Kizer mocked anyone who said that fighters shouldn’t get Therapeutic Use Exemptions for testosterone. I pointed out who Keith was expressing his displeasure about.

To put some context to what I’m talking about regarding how out of nowhere the comment about Dr. Goodman and the 6:1 ratio in Nevada was stated, here’s the context from the interview:

MAURO RANALLO: “If there are better ways that exist right now to prove and catch people and not have to go through the expenses, you know, of these other tests and whatnot. If there’s a way to help clean up the sport and it exists, why aren’t we using it? And if money’s the issue, is there any, uh, you know, thought to doing some fundraising or coming up with the cash somehow, how can we do that?”

KEITH KIZER: “Uh, I don’t know. Again, there [is some] supplemental testing being done and we have no issues with that. I mean, yeah, if a promoter or a fighter wants to do additional testing, supplemental testing, we’re all for that.”

MAURO RANALLO: “What are your thoughts on VADA, what Dr. Margaret Goodman and them are doing, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association?”

KEITH KIZER: “You know, they’re involved I think with the Mosley/Alvarez fight but I’ve not had much information. Dr. Goodman is actually a former doctor here on the commission from years ago. Back when she was chairman of the Medical Advisory Board, we had a 6:1 ratio. We still do it. Like I said, 4:1 might be the better ratio and it’s something we’ve looked at but, again, we don’t want to do it in such a way to have false positives out there. So, but, uh, I applaud anybody out there doing, uh, this type of work.”

After Kizer’s initial interview response to the T/E ratio, the T/E issue wasn’t really raised until the very end when Mauro was trying to close out the interview. Kizer was already irritated about the criticism he’s received on this front from people like Victor Conte. As Mauro was trying to wrap things up, he brought up the T/E ratio issue again and how most everyone would like to see a 4:1 standard. Kizer, in an incredibly irritated pitch, had enough and challenged Mauro on who these people are and essentially went after Mauro for using a false premise. It was quite a revealing moment. However, Mauro didn’t back down and he asked Kizer if he would support a lower T/E ratio in the future, even mentioning getting the ratio as close to 1:1 as possible. Kizer said yes repeatedly.

Well, that answer didn’t match up to what he saying earlier when first pressed on the T/E ratio by talking about concern over false positives. On second thought, it did and it didn’t.

Remarkably, this was not the most curious moment of frustration for the Executive Director.

3. Going after Nick Diaz for marijuana usage and why marijuana is a target in drug testing

Mauro asked him our questions about the Director’s viewpoint on marijuana and if he considered marijuana to be a performance enhancer like testosterone. Initially, Kizer stood behind the WADA name by saying if they think it’s a prohibited substance, then why shouldn’t be in Nevada?

“We definitely have a pecking order on prohibited substances.”

In defending why they test for marijuana:

“Well, it’s a prohibited substance.” He didn’t stop there. He added that “perhaps” there is a performance enhancing aspect to it. Then he challenged Mauro for his line of questioning about marijuana usage & punishment by saying WADA doesn’t put substances on a list ‘willy nilly’ and intimated Mauro having a problem with this.

“Sounds like you do.”

I think a lot of people have a problem with the argument that marijuana is a performance-enhancing drug during a fight. You can categorize it as a banned substance and say that since it slows down a fighter’s performance during a fight that therefore a fighter is putting their own body at danger in terms of health & safety. However, to get caught up with arguing that it’s ‘perhaps’ a performance enhancer is just over-the-top.

Kizer made sure to express that marijuana isn’t a PED on the level of testosterone and noted that the suspensions handed out in Nevada are different in time length. He noted that first-time for marijuana is 6 months, 9-12 months for testosterone/steroids. Mauro tried to press him and ask him what he wants to see happen to Diaz for length of punishment and Kizer said he didn’t want to try the case on the radio show.

(Kizer did confidently express, however, that the ‘prosecution’ has Diaz doomed for untruthful/misrepresenting answers on the pre-fight medical questionnaire to one or more questions.)

Kizer initially stated that he views testing for marijuana as important because of the harm to the person using it. Of all the arguments one could made to support his current stance on the way he handles marijuana suspensions, this is the one partially defensible argument to make.

However, he then dropped the word ‘theoretical’ when saying that marijuana has performance-enhancing benefits.

At that point of the interview, whatever he had said beforehand probably got tuned out by a lot of Mauro’s listeners because once you start arguing marijuana as a PED even if you use the word ‘theoretical,’ you are going to draw scorn and ridicule from a lot of fans.

4. The issue of out-of-competition drug testing

The last big takeaway I had from the interview was when Mauro pressed him about out-of-competition random drug testing. Kizer was touting how Nevada’s new policy is working, as if testing guys at a Vegas press conference is somehow true out-of-competition drug testing the likes of WADA worldwide out-of-competition testing (where someone, like tennis star Rafael Nadal is woken up at 8:30 AM in the morning at a hotel and told to give a sample on the spot). Josh Gross pointed out this vociferously on an item at ESPN when he asking how dumb Overeem could be for failing such a non-random random drug test.

On a side note in relation to the T/E debate, it was very curious to hear Keith Kizer tout how great Carbon Isotope Ratio testing is for measuring testosterone levels in a urine sample. Obviously, then, CIR testing is the standard for all urine drug testing in Nevada, right? Nope. CIR is used by Nevada if a fighter wants to appeal the A sample test failure and have the B sample tested. If it sounds backwards to you, you’re not alone. The Director brought up that CIR is much more expensive to use — but outfits like VADA are right there in Las Vegas willing to assist on the CIR front for testing.

Victor Conte opines:

Why did Keith Kizer leak Overeem’s A sample test result before testing his B sample? Against Olympic, MLB, NFL rules. What’s up?

In this case, the standard NSAC protocol is when the A sample tests positive to give out the result and then it’s public knowledge whether or not a fighter wants to appeal because a future hearing is set. That’s different from baseball, football, and other pro-sports where an athlete can appeal the positive test, have the B sample tested, and then if the appeal fails you end up hearing about the suspension. Of course, that doesn’t always work out sometimes (ask Ryan Braun of the Brewers).

Victor’s remarks led to an insider messaging us the following quip:

“How does NSAC avoid false positives if they don’t automatically test the B sample? Why do they release results without confirming B sample?”

Final thoughts

All in all, a bizarrely hostile interview due to the sanctimonious tone on display. I fully expect that your reaction to my comments here will be mixed, at best, but I can’t wait to hear your feedback.

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “Keith Kizer: Sensitive, sanctimonious speech”

  1. HeadKck says:

    i applaud you for taking a strong stance on this and actually trying to probe get some answers and maybe spark some change but judging by the reaction of the MMA world since the story broke it aint hard to tell nobody gives a fck not even the commission(kizer sounded like he dindt know what he was talking about half the time).. the general consensus is “damn overreem shouldve have cycled better he knew the test was coming the stupid guy caused us a great fight”.. geno over at mania wrote an article basically saying he doesn’t care if ppl juice fck it if they permanently damage an opponent due to an unfair advantage its all about entertainment(i think he speaks for the majority of MMA fans)

  2. Bob says:

    Neither here nor there on possible “explanations”:

    Some of the glucuronidation enzymes do seem to be associated with elevated T/E ratios.

    Consumption of ethanol ~2g per body weight can increase T/E.

    Ketamine, spironolactone and the herb andrographis paniculata all are inhibitors of UGT 2B7, a glucuronidating enzyme, with specificity for epiT.

    None of those should change the 13C/12C ratio.

    It also appears that Ketoconazole (antifungal) can decrease the T/E ratio within 8hrs.

  3. Tommy says:

    Great interview with Dr. Johnny Benjamin comes up five minutes after the Kizer interview. Worth a listen.

    Been saying this the UFC deferring to government operated officials in 2012 is a joke. The UFC is on Fox now. If, they want to swim with the big boy sports they need to be proactive on MMA’s PED culture.

    UFC always sets the agenda on MMA issues. They have been passive for way too long. Can’t pass the buck to “government regulation”

  4. EJ says:

    No surprise here, i’ve been calling out Kizer on his hypocrisy and arrogance for years. At least it’s nice to now have other people catching onto the same things. This guy has no business running a very vital AC like the NSAC, his behavior and statements in past cases should have gotten him fired if there was with any brains that watching over the AC’s. Sadly he’s not the only one running an AC that shouldn’t have a job. To me this is one of the biggest issues with testing in the first place if you can’t trust the people running the operations how can you trust the test in the first place but that’s a whole other story.

  5. Bix says:

    Here’s what doesn’t make sense to me about T:E ratios, (including WADA using 4:1 as the threshold so this is more about everyone than Nevada):

    T:E ratios naturally above 1:1 are incredibly rare. Dr. Johnny Benjamin specifically said “Very, very rare.” It’s rare enough that Dr. David Black talked about trying to learn from the cases he found when he was interviewed by Congressional investigators when they were looking into pro wrestling.

    (FWIW, when Chris Hero signed with WWE recently, it was reported that the medical holdup that held off his signing for months was extensive follow-up testing to confirm he has a naturally elevated T:E ratio.)

    So if it’s so rare, false positives will be just a rare, and when they happen, the carbon isotope testing on the B-sample will exonerate the clean fighters. Why not just make the cutoff 2:1 and hold off on making an announcement/decision until the B-sample test results come back or the deadline on requesting it be tested passes?

    I get Kizer’s desire to avoid false positives, but it seems like you can still avoid false positives and unnecessary expensive follow-up testing while catching a lot more fighters who are (ab)using anabolic androgenic steroids.

    In addition to all that…what’s the root cause of this naturally and how common is *that*? Presumably there’s a deficiency of epitestosterone, right?

    Ok, I just got up to the Dr. Johnny Benjamin part of the show and it’s awesome. He’s much more cynical than in the MMA Junkie article, basically saying that it’s bullshit to even allow 4:1, among other things.

  6. Norm says:

    Zach, my message to you is…..I am proud of you! For continuing your obnoxious crusade! You really are taking it to epic levels.

    Have you ever come out and said what your main objective is? Fighter safety? A personal agenda? Trolling?

    You claim serious injuries will occur when an enhanced fighter smashes a non enhanced fighter, but have yet to provide even a single injury from the various sample fights we have.

    Maybe if I get sometime this weekend, I’ll go through the notable fights where a fighter pisses hot and take a look at the injury/suspension reports from the commissions. Then we can finally get down to brass tacks! Cheers!

    • Zach Arnold says:

      I spelled it out before, but I’ll spell it out here again:

      It’s time for everyone to get their act together and clean up this mess when it’s still a fixable issue. The minute someone gets crippled or killed while a guy is using PEDs (testosterone) during a major MMA event is the day that there’s no turning back. It will be significantly worse if the person inflicting the damage is using testosterone.

      Right now, it’s a few writers like me and a few well-known names like Victor Conte sounding the horn. If the problem gets progressively worse, it won’t be just us – it will be all the major TV networks, the newspapers, radio stations, and major sports web sites that suddenly will be shining a bright spotlight on the issues we’ve raised here for many years.

      I’ve suggested to you that there are sports writers who are paying attention and who are laying the groundwork to make a very detailed case about the drug problem in MMA once a major ‘bomb’ hits (i.e. death/accident). When that happens, just don’t be surprised to see what will be unleashed. The UFC has made plenty of enemies on this front and they don’t need a major scandal to effect their bottom line.

      It’s a whole lot easier to clean things up now and keep the sport growing than it is for the drug issue to swallow up the oxygen in the room and set the sport on a scorching fire.

      The ‘you want to destroy UFC’ line being used against me on this topic was the same kind of rhetoric when I went into full detail about the yakuza scandal that imploded PRIDE. The same kind of loud screeching. PRIDE didn’t come back from their scandal. The drug issue in MMA is a problem that can be fixed and should be fixed.

      • Norm says:

        “The minute someone gets crippled or killed while a guy is using PEDs (testosterone) during a major MMA event is the day that there’s no turning back.”

        There have been 3 deaths in MMA from cerebral hemorrhage via blunt force trauma. The opponents did not seem to be on TRT or steroids, but there could have been a distinct possibility. While all were sad occurances, barely a peep was made about banning the sport.

        There have been 2000+ UFC fights and the most serious injuries I can recall are severe broken bones, typically in the leg or arm. It’s safe to say at a minimum, 12 guys according to Cage Potato’s Definitive Steroid Busts list have tested postive and many more have used but not been busted and yet not a single death.

        “Right now, it’s a few writers like me and a few well-known names like Victor Conte sounding the horn.”

        Victor Conte sells and promotes ZMA, a supplement he purports to “increase anabolic hormone in trained athletes”. Is that not contradictory to the message he is trying spread indicating fighters should not be allowed to compete with elevated testosterone?

        “I’ve suggested to you that there are sports writers who are paying attention and who are laying the groundwork to make a very detailed case about the drug problem in MMA once a major ‘bomb’ hits (i.e. death/accident). When that happens, just don’t be surprised to see what will be unleashed.”

        Why wait until the bomb hits, why not expose the issue on a wide scale now before a death occurs?

    • SmackyBear says:

      I, for one, welcome Zach’s continuous updating of the situation as new developments and interviews emerge.

      Granted, I could do without some of the “whose side do you want to be on” and comments about how whiny Kizer is.

      But it’s a legitimate story.

  7. Jason Harris says:

    “outfits like VADA are right there in Las Vegas willing to assist on the CIR front for testing.”

    That doesn’t negate the expense, does it? I don’t think VADA is just doing testing out of the goodness of their hearts, someone has to pay them to do it.

    It’s always struck me as odd that the VADA people are trusted sources who are also selling a service

    • Zach Arnold says:

      They’re a non-profit ran by Dr. Margaret Goodman, whose reputation for health & safety is pretty damn good. She has a very good standing in the medical community.

      Read up on VADA about how they work with fighters to pay for the testing.

      • Jason Amadi says:

        Here’s all I’ve ever wanted to know: if the UFC gets an independent third party to randomly test fighters, what happens to the result?

        Does the third party send the result to the athletic commission, do they send it out to the media or do they hand send it over to the UFC to be buried forever?

      • Jason Harris says:

        Read up where? There’s very little information out there outside of their official facebook page which has pretty much a press release. I’d love some real information.

        How much are they charging for the testing they are advocating for every fighter? How much money do they stand to take in if 400 fighters are suddenly being tested by their shop?

        I’m wary of organizations that try to ride PR waves and get lots of attention for themselves on the backs of scandals. This is the first (and only) way that I’ve ever heard of VADA.

  8. SmackyBear says:

    Dr. Benjamin is very, very wrong. When I heard him say that, I started to question if he knew anything about this subject at all.

    T:E ratios of 2:1 are quite possible for someone to have without being on steroids.

    The 4:1 ratio is used because it’s just over two standard deviations above the mean, so it covers the vast majority of the population. The 6:1 ratio should cover essentially everyone.

    I do agree with you that they should have a more sensitive ratio for their primary screening test and not make the initial results public until CIR confirmation to rule out false positives.

    But Dr. Benjamin was spreading inaccurate information and leaping to ignorant conclusions. That’s normal for UG trolls but a Dr. doing it on the radio and misleading the public is pretty bad.

    • Kyle says:

      And Benjamin said just that in his MMAJunkie article. I wonder what got into him on Ranallo’s show:

      http://mmajunkie.com/news/28128/medical-beat-what-are-te-ratios-any-why-do-cutoff-limits-vary-for-testosterone.mma

      So, if the NSAC is okay with a T:E ratio of 6:1, does that mean that fighters with therapeutic use exemptions for TRT can take their T:E ratios up to 5.999:1? If they’re allowed to legally hold themselves at the 99th percentile of testosterone levels, that’s a pretty big advantage.

      And if Nevada uses a cutoff of 6:1 and California uses 4:1, what cutoff does the UFC use in events that they oversee themselves? I wouldn’t want to be a reporter asking Dana White that question.

      • Zach Arnold says:

        Given that they use Nevada staff when they hire people for their ‘UFC regulated’ shows, my suspicion is that they go by Nevada’s rules.

        However, I have not been told on or off the record about what their drug testing protocols are as far as T/E ratio, so on and so forth.

        As for Dr. Benjamin’s showing on Mauro’s radio show… my best educated guess (based on prior experience of being a guest on the show) is that he was on hold, sitting and listening to Kizer’s deal. I wouldn’t blame him for being cynical after that.

        • SmackyBear says:

          Okay, I have disagreements with Kizer, but blaming Dr. Benjamin’s showing on him is crazy if you’re serious and childish if you’re not. Either way, it’s inane.

          His conclusions were clearly based on his incorrect, and frankly, patently absurd claim that a 2:1 T:E ratio was impossible without an exogenous source of testosterone.

          I can’t believe there aren’t more people calling the good Dr. out on this. The public will understandably consider him an expert on any medical question by virtue of his hard earned title. And he didn’t even brush up on this topic before making such strong statements of fact? Frankly, I have a big problem with that.

          I also have a big problem with you brushing it off as a reaction to Kizer, even if it’s only done jokingly. I’d consider myself a fairly big fan of your work, but you lose considerable esteem in my eyes (for whatever that’s worth, though I doubt I’m alone) when you are biased enough to blindly attack someone who disagrees with you on a subject and blindly defend someone who agrees with you.

  9. Zach Arnold says:

    SmackyBear said:

    Okay, I have disagreements with Kizer, but blaming Dr. Benjamin’s showing on him is crazy if you’re serious and childish if you’re not. Either way, it’s inane.

    His conclusions were clearly based on his incorrect, and frankly, patently absurd claim that a 2:1 T:E ratio was impossible without an exogenous source of testosterone.

    I can’t believe there aren’t more people calling the good Dr. out on this. The public will understandably consider him an expert on any medical question by virtue of his hard earned title. And he didn’t even brush up on this topic before making such strong statements of fact? Frankly, I have a big problem with that.

    I was referring to Bix’s assertion about his interview tone (not facts presented) as compared to the tone used in the Junkie article (which I’m guessing was edited).

    I also have a big problem with you brushing it off as a reaction to Kizer, even if it’s only done jokingly. I’d consider myself a fairly big fan of your work, but you lose considerable esteem in my eyes (for whatever that’s worth, though I doubt I’m alone) when you are biased enough to blindly attack someone who disagrees with you on a subject and blindly defend someone who agrees with you.

    a) your characterization that I ‘blindly’ attack someone is, IMO, incorrect. I wouldn’t be writing about the drug issue if it wasn’t an issue and if the story wasn’t being advanced by developments or remarks from key players involved.

    b) Provide a specific example of me ‘blindly’ attacking vs. defending someone here.

    I wasn’t defending any of the claims made by Dr. Benjamin during said radio interview. I didn’t include any of his claims in the article about Kizer’s interview. The focus here for me is not on Dr. Benjamin but on Kizer since he likes to do the media rounds, got challenged this time around, and didn’t take too kindly to it.

    The most frustrating part was not getting direct answers to certain marijuana questions Mauro asked.

    I am amused that you say that you’re a ‘big fan of my work’ but have such a huge problem with the perspective of said work. Kind of an oil/water argument there.

    If I was concerned with winning a congeniality contest, I wouldn’t focus on the subjects I write about. I learned long ago that you aren’t going to make fans by focusing on the darker side of issues. What I do care about is my track record and accuracy, which I’d gladly stack up against anyone over the last decade and without hesitation, either.

    • Jason Harris says:

      It wasn’t until recently that this site was beating one topic into the ground over and over again. The hyperbole, the repeated claims that people are going to die over this, the “pick your side!” calls to arms….I can’t think of anything of the like in the past years I’ve been going to the site. This is why a “big fan” will have a problem.

      When Barnett’s positive steroids result cratered Affliction, there was no outcry, no condemnation. It was “Welp, he can go fight on the Sengoku show.” But all of the sudden now PEDs in MMA is an emergency issue, you’re tying every single story to it in any way that you can, and just pushing pushing pushing the issue into the ground HARD.

      Very few people argue that PEDs shouldn’t be banned from the sport, but it gets really hard to swallow these repeated claims that people are going to be beaten to death by testosterone using monsters. There is no evidence to show people popping positive for PEDs doing more damage to their opponent, in fact it’s typically the opposite. By the logic behind those statements, Pudzianowski would have a record of 10-0 (10 murders) instead of struggling in losing decisions to journeymen. This guy is literally a world’s strongest man winner, so he should be “crushing” the opponents like these hypothetical steroid monsters that nobody can provide an example of. Why isn’t it happening? Why is it when the system actually WORKS, it’s still just a vehicle for more outcry and criticism? Why is it that Rampage releasing a stupid internet video is now an article about “T”? It’s crossing the line from journalism to fanaticism on this issue. I can’t figure out where all of this anger came from when just a few years ago PED users was completely not on the radar for this site.

    • Jason Harris says:

      Ugh, last comment was eaten by the system.

      Anyhow, it’s easy to see how someone who has previously been a fan can be alienated by the current string of “T-Gate” articles.

      Compare, for example, FightOpinion’s reaction to Josh Barnett having a pre-fight test failure. Almost the exact same situation:

      http://www.fightopinion.com/2009/07/23/tom-atencios-no-good-very-horrible-week/

      “As for what happens to Josh next… Sengoku has a big show on 11/5 in Tokyo at Ryogoku Kokugikan and that is when Satoshi Ishii is supposed to make his debut. If the situation in California turns out as bad as it looks for Barnett, then he can fight on that show. Remember, Antonio Silva fought in Japan during his CSAC suspension and it doesn’t look like he paid a price for it. Outside of the November 5th Sengoku date? IGF has a major show on 8/9 in Tokyo at Ariake Colosseum. Given that he’s off the Affliction show now, that no doubt becomes a big booking date for him.”

      http://www.fightopinion.com/2009/07/24/no-sugar-coatedcoverage-in-the-japanese-media-for-josh-barnett/

      “Amazingly, the major Japanese newspapers (Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports, and Sports Nippon) all played it straight with coverage. You know you are in trouble when phrases like “anabolic steroids,” “failed drug test,” and “drug scandal” are used without any sort of softening by a favorable media corps.”

      Where was the warpath? It was some thoughts on Barnett’s future, and pointing out that the Japanese media reported on it…and that’s it.

      Now, Rampage releases a stupid internet video and we’re getting “Which side are you on???” and “T USERS ARE GOING TO KILL SOMEONE!” in the article about it. When the system works and catches someone using PEDs, that is taken as an opportunity to lambast the system and point out, yet again, that some T user is going to kill someone in the ring.

      I’ve brought this up before and it didn’t get a response, but I’ll go ahead and do it again: do we have any evidence of someone on TRT or anabolic steroids actually injuring their opponent? Last time this came up I pointed out that PED failures lose more fights than they win. But we continue to get these ominious threats that someone is going to die in the ring and it’s going to be related to PEDs/TRT (which are seemingly used interchangably, or with the new buzzword “T” in their place) without any evidence to back it up.

      It’s frankly hard to swallow these fictional reports of steroid monsters killing people in the ring, when you see situations like Pudzianowski, who literally won World’s Strongest Man on many occasions, losing to a journeyman. By the logic of the threats we are being lobbed in almost every article for the past 2 months, Pudz should be 10-0 (10 deaths).

      • edub says:

        “I’ve brought this up before and it didn’t get a response, but I’ll go ahead and do it again: do we have any evidence of someone on TRT or anabolic steroids actually injuring their opponent?”

        I brought it up to you last time. Dan Henderson KO % is up close to ten points since beginning his treatment. Elsewhere Overeems KO’s became insanely more brutal since he became Ubereem 4 years ago. King Mo nearly smashed Lorenz Larkin’s skull through the canvas. Do activities like those not count?

        For the record, I agree with pretty much everything you are saying here though. I think the whole roided up moster/killer theory is a far fetched.

        If and hopefully not when a death happens in MMA I see it coming from more of a fluky situation. Kinda like when that kid broke his neck when he was going for a takedown, and landed awkward when his opponent grabbed on for a guillotine.

    • SmackyBear says:

      Okay so you were only referring to his tone from Bix’s comment but you responded to Kyle’s comment, which was about his facts and asked a question about what got into him.

      I regret my misinterpretation of your remark about Dr. Benjamin, but can’t you see how I could make that mistake based on where your post was and the fact that there was no reference to that part of your comment being specifically to Bix’s comment?

      I was taking my misinterpretation of your comment as blindly attacking Kizer, by blaming him for Dr. Benjamin’s mistakes, and defending Dr. Benjamin by excusing his mistakes as evidence of your point B. As for point A, I don’t recall saying that your writing on the issue in general blindly attacked anyone. If you look at my comment (April 6, 2012 at 10:40 pm) I say it’s a legitimate story and I appreciate the updates.

      Frankly, I don’t understand what you’re saying in the paragraph about me being a big fan of your work. Why can’t I be a fan of your work as a whole and have a problem with parts of it? How would that be an oil and water type of thing? If you haven’t guessed, I hate the use of PEDs in sports, especially combat sports. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to think everything you say on the matter is perfect.

  10. Jonathan Snowden says:

    I’d like to see a single source on this issue that isn’t selling a product that just so happens to confront the “problem” they are hyping up hysterically.

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