By Zach Arnold | September 21, 2015
Three years ago the UFC accidentally sent a sketchy Vitor Belfort drug test to people and then … nothing happened. http://t.co/NmWe3vrH2y
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) September 21, 2015
UFC’s bête noire is back in action and on one of his biggest platforms yet.
That’s an article highlighting the pre-USADA era of UFC drug testing. If you’ve read my countless articles on MMA’s testosterone plague, little of what Josh wrote in his new Deadspin article will shock or surprise you. The only surprise is, if his information is true, how long the information took to become public.
A quick summary of the lengthy Deadspin article:
- Josh Gross claims UFC e-mailed out results of a Vitor Belfort blood test to 29 fighters, managers, and trainers three weeks before Belfort’s fight versus Jon Jones in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Those test results supposedly showed Belfort having higher-than-allowed testosterone levels
- UFC allegedly gave Belfort a Therapeutic Use Exemption for testosterone and supposedly monitored Belfort test results from an anti-aging facility called Ageless Forever
- A paralegal from UFC & UFC top attorney Ike Epstein reportedly requested e-mail recipients to delete the Belfort test results e-mail immediately. Epstein’s message threatened legal sanctions against anyone who published Belfort’s information.
- The person who supposedly received Belfort’s blood test results at UFC HQ left the organization and is now a manager for MMA fighters. He is the brother of UFC chief legal officer Kirk Hendrick.
Onto my observations or questions:
- If the fight in question had happened to be in Nevada and not Ontario, this would be an exponentially more explosive scandal story.
- The incestuousness of MMA business relations is so Southern-fried in its nature.
- Americans have long believed that major, too-big-to-fail sporting institutions like the NFL and UFC were head-and-shoulders above others for intelligence & competence when, in fact, they have been exposed as typical corporations.
- Will UFC sue Gawker Media in Nevada Federal court and take their chances that an anti-SLAPP motion won’t survive a libel suit? Or will UFC ignore the Deadspin article? Nevada’s anti-SLAPP motion recently got watered down and it’s not as strong as anti-SLAPP motions in California, Oregon, or Texas.
- Why would Jeff Novitzky agree to take a job as a drug test overlord for a sports company that issued their own Therapeutic Use Exemptions and now is partnering up with an entity in USADA that may have different standards for TUEs than state athletic commissions like Nevada?
Ben Fowlkes responds: Let us remark on how utterly insane MMA’s testosterone era was
Erik Magraken talks about the Deadspin story in context of assault, informed consent, fraud, and CTE should someone decide to sue UFC in the future.