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UFC is paying for random drug testing, but is random drug testing equal from state to state?

By Zach Arnold | April 3, 2014

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We know the Georges St. Pierre stick-and-carrot approach on applying pressure to the UFC for improving drug testing protocols was working. Then he lost that leverage when he blew out the ACL in his left knee.

At least he got Lorenzo Fertitta on record supporting the financing of random drug testing for big fights. However, Lorenzo said that the various state athletic commissions should handle the testing rather than using an entity like Dr. Margaret Goodman’s VADA or USADA. Because, you know, they shouldn’t have jurisdiction over testing since they aren’t an athletic commission. I’m sure Lamont Peterson wished he had thought of that line when he got busted micro-dosing on testosterone pellets.

Nevertheless, the UFC has basically given some credit to Dr. Goodman (wittingly or unwittingly) even with their backhanded remarks about the VADA operation.

We know UFC paid for random drug testing last December with the Travis Browne/Josh Barnett fight. They’re paying now for testing in relation to the Jon Jones/Glover Teixeira fight. Nevada claimed the price tag was $20,000 for “enhanced testing” and nobody exactly knew what those protocols entailed. Brent Brookhouse would later go on to expose the holes in that “enhanced testing.”

For Maryland’s testing protocols, nobody is 100% sure what they are. There’s no universal drug testing standard from state to state on drug testing. That problem has not been addressed yet and should be the next issue to focus on. With VADA testing, at least we know what the guidelines are. Not so much with random testing from state to state.

Random drug testing isn’t cheap and the UFC is doing the right thing by paying for it on the bigger fights. However, the same athletic commissions they’re working with are the regulatory bodies that felt pressured enough to give out testosterone permission slips to fighters. So, you never know which way the political winds are blowing and just what exactly is happening. And without a uniform standard for random drug testing, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds with how each state operates.

If the UFC would rather work with state athletic commissions instead of letting fighters test with an agency like VADA, then they could do themselves a big favor and help clear some confusion by getting the various ACs on board with one uniform policy when it comes to random drug testing. The good news is that there does seem to be some hope on the horizon for better HGH drug testing protocols. Plus, this recent BBC news article detailing how laboratories will be able to use existing equipment to detect drug usage by athletes as late as two years ago is promising & optimistic news.

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 8 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

8 Responses to “UFC is paying for random drug testing, but is random drug testing equal from state to state?”

  1. Chris says:

    A step in the right direction but Lorenzo’s Anti-VADA stance is a joke.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    What is the reason for Fertitta being against Goodman’s company. Anybody know?

    • Chuck says:

      I think because she has always been a thorn in the side of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and he was a part of it once upon a time ago, so…

      Otherwise, it makes no sense whatsoever. Also, I am guestimating why.

      • Chuck says:

        Actually, I know why. Because the VADA system is so effective, it catches drug cheaters way before a fight, hence leading to fight cancellations. Which means fight orgs and state athletic commissions lose money. They would rather catch a drug cheater after a fight is over, and if the cheater originally won the fight, then just declare the fight a no contest. As long as the fight happens, and they make money, they won’t go through the headache of cancelling a fight or an entire card and having to refund ticket buyers. It’s shitty, but it’s about the skrillah.

  3. Zach Arnold says:

    What is this with Maryland pushing “confidentiality” regarding their drug testing? The only thing that needs to be secret is when they send people to test the fighters. Other than that, nothing else needs to be secret.

    • Nepal says:

      You really have to wonder what the hell the Maryland SAC is talking about.

      ” To ensure the confidentiality of testing, there will be no further comment from the Maryland State Athletic Commission on this subject at this time.”

      What could be confidential? The results? If one of them tests hot, do they keep that confidential? This makes no sense.

      Chuck is correct. The last thing the UFC wants to do is catch cheaters before fights. Main event fighter tests positive, fight gets cancelled, UFC losses millions of dollars. This could happen multiple times per year. Very bad for profits.

  4. Wes says:

    I would like to know now that most states say they banned TRT or steroids, but are they going to use the ratio that was set in place for a positive test. For example, California used the ratio 4:1. Anything less than that was negative, in Nevada it was 6:1. So the question is if a fighter test at a ratio of 4:1 in Nevada will they consider that a positive test and suspend the fighter since steroids are not allowed?

  5. rst says:

    I’m so thankful that they got rid of TRT, sometimes I wonder if pushing for a lot more too quick might be greedy.
    If we can get zuffa to just support testing all title fighters in general I’d be pleased as peaches and willing to break their balls about the quality of testing and possibly testing next contender 5 rounders tomorrow.


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