By Zach Arnold | January 15, 2014
Good for GSP for speaking his mind. He's right. I'd say 75% if not more fighters are using PEDs. Plus they can't talk. He's 100% right @ufc
— Mike Hackler (@mike_hackler) January 15, 2014
Remember the anonymous ESPN MMA fighters poll where those surveyed thought the amount of fighters doping was 51%?
Here is the RDS media link if you want to view the original news source on the story.
GSP’s sentiments echo the same words of veteran MMA writers, including Eddie Goldman. Eddie is often dismissed as a crank on the issue of doping in sports but his criticism of doping in combat sports has been on the money.
You remember the debacle for drug testing requests before the St. Pierre/Johny Hendricks fight. GSP signed up with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency to have supplemental drug testing for his title fight. Hendricks and his camp weren’t interested. Dana started criticizing St. Pierre’s drug testing demands. Keith Kizer carried the anti-Margaret Goodman spin. The VADA critics made St. Pierre out to be a guy with a financial incentive for agreeing to test with VADA.
Of course, this is the same VADA that busted Lamont Peterson for microdosing on testosterone pellets while Nevada’s drug tests couldn’t catch such usage.
Only in the world of combat sports could a fighter asking for tougher drug testing be categorized as unreasonable to the masses while the organization that changed combat sports forever by booking & promoting testosterone-using fighters in top fights is somehow categorized as statesman-like and grown up. The same organization that self-regulates foreign events and lets fighters like Nate Marquardt and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva use testosterone. Look at recent history. The UFC has helped influence the rules of engagement for anabolic steroid usage in combat sports.
Lorenzo shocked at GSP comments…of course, he wasn't the one publicly saying GSP "looked stupid" for wanting addt'l PED testing…
— Robert Joyner (@robnashville) January 15, 2014
Lorenzo Fertitta is quoted in this ESPN article stating that UFC encourages athletic commissions to use the most rigorous drug testing protocols possible. Really? When you start having those same athletic commissions giving top fighters permission to use anabolic steroids while at the same time scolding fighters for failing IQ (drug) tests for elevated levels of testosterone, you have effectively changed the entire ball game when it comes to doping standards in combat sports.
And when it comes to UFC’s drug testing protocols for fighters on foreign cards, I would hardly call their standards “rigorous” if they’re not using the Carbon Isotope Ratio drug testing standard to detect synthetic testosterone usage in urine samples.
St. Pierre’s statements about UFC’s two-faced spin on drug usage in MMA made headlines across the globe and rightfully so. He called out the UFC and their political enablers. Keith Kizer said that he didn’t want MMA fighters getting permission for testosterone usage to be labeled with a scarlet letter. Before the UFC started pushing the testosterone issue, no other major promoter in combat sports had even considered influencing athletic commissions to give permission slips to fighters for testosterone usage. Not Bob Arum, not Golden Boy, not Showtime, not HBO. This testosterone trend falls squarely on UFC’s lap and they know it.
Which is why, all along, I have repeatedly said the testosterone issue is a giant political & public relations loser for the UFC. And instead of cutting fighters who are using testosterone, UFC is promoting some of those fighters in main event slots. Hello, Vitor Belfort. He’ll have a chance to make millions fighting Chris Weidman in a few months on PPV and be presented with an opportunity to win a UFC title belt.
Compare the amount of MMA fighters given permission to use testosterone versus the number of athletes the International Olympic Committee has given permission to use testosterone. The difference is staggering.
Lorenzo Fertitta, Marc Ratner, Sig Rogich, and Skip Avansino are the major power players at the Nevada State Athletic Commission. With Keith Kizer exiting his position as Executive Director, ask yourself if the Nevada politicos are going to choose a new Executive Director who is going to stop handing out the permission slips to UFC fighters to use testosterone. We know what that answer is already.
There have been quite a few defenders of MMA fighters being allowed to use testosterone and I’ve heard their arguments. The difference between the pro-steroids crowd and the UFC is that the pro-steroids crowd is willing to be honest & transparent. They aren’t two-faced in their arguments made for public consumption. They will tell you to your face what they think should be acceptable. I can deal with an honest broker. In the case of the UFC, however, they’ve helped create an environment where anabolic steroid users are rewarded, if not praised for their behavior. Opening Pandora’s box on testosterone usage in MMA has a direct impact on the health & safety of all fighters who enter the cage. Testosterone usage doesn’t improve your win/loss ratio but it sure as hell gives you more punching power and allows you to absorb more punishment in the cage when you are suffering from concussive brain damage.
Georges St. Pierre is right. The global sports world is evolving on drug testing protocols while American sports organizations are desperately lagging behind. The comments at Reddit MMA about what St. Pierre had to say are very interesting to say the least. The UFC can’t argue the doping issue on the merits any longer, which is why the defenses being presented by both Lorenzo Fertitta & Dana White are falling on deaf ears now. That’s not a position they want to be in, but it is a position they have put themselves in.
There’s a reason Sherdog called the testosterone plague in MMA their 2013 Story of the Year.
Update: Jamie Penick responds to Dana White’s predictable outburst against GSP on Wednesday. Hint: challenging St. Pierre’s manhood for not making his remarks “face to face” is as boilerplate a Dana response as you can get.