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Cage Rage Drug Testing Policy Claims First Victim

By Iain Liddle | March 13, 2008

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Cage Rage today announced the name of the first fighter to have fallen foul of their recently introduced drug testing policy.

John Phillips (6-1-0 1NC) tested positive for what was only identified as a banned substance and the result of his recent fight against Jake Bostwick (3-4-0 1NC) has been officially changed to a no contest.

In a statement on their website, Cage Rage said “John Phillips, from Team Trojan tested positive for one of the drugs on the current banned list. Although the drug is not recognized as a performance enhancing drug, it is nevertheless on the list.”

Phillips had originally stopped Bostwick at four minutes, ten seconds of the first round via referee stoppage in the opening bout of this past Saturday’s Cage Rage 25 event at Wembley Arena.

Interestingly, and in somewhat paranoid fashion, the statement opens by saying “The question has often been raised as to the validity of drug testing, and whether efforts behind the ongoing attempts to regulate and monitor the use of banned substances really work.”

There is no doubt that the London-based companies attempt to remove drug cheats from British MMA is an admirable move both in terms ensuring a level playing field for their athletes and also giving the sport credibility in the United Kingdom.

In the absence of a commission to regulate mixed martial arts in Britain though, as soon as you announce one failed test it will inevitably lead to people asking questions about the samples that we are not told the results of. Whilst there are no suggestions of any cover up in this instance cynics will claim that if you were looking for an example to prove your system works then a young fighter competing on his first main show would make for the perfect fall guy.

The next stage in the evolution of this policy must surely be to hire an independent testing company to not only choose their own randomly selected fighters to test but also to reveal their findings in full, even if it is only to confirm a clean bill of health.

“Phillips’ fight purse has been withheld” the statement went on to say “and a ban will be in place, prohibiting him from competing in any UK MMA event for a period of 120 days.” Once again, without a commission to oversee the sport it is hard to see how this ban can be legally enforced should the fighter decide to take a bout elsewhere in the country during this period.

Official regulation cannot come soon enough.

Topics: Iain Liddle, MMA, UK | 15 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

15 Responses to “Cage Rage Drug Testing Policy Claims First Victim”

  1. ilostmydog says:

    Can they legally withold his fight purse? I would think that such a punishment would have to be written out in the contract that he signed for the fight. Weird that they don’t say what exactly he tested positive for though.

  2. The Gaijin says:

    I’m pretty shocked that Shamrock somehow managed to test clean. I find it shocking that a guy who’s like 45 years old can be that muscular and “veiny” looking – it basically defies all physiological conventions that a man that age is able to maintain a physique like his.

    Though I guess use of HGH is still largely untested.

  3. Iain Liddle says:

    Who’s to say Shamrock was sampled?

    Whilst he would be the most suspicious one on the card to an outisder, no details of any testing processes are revealed. He may simply have not been chosen to take part.

  4. UFC 4 Life says:

    or maybe he passed the test.

    smart doctors can beat these things knowing what ur levels need to be before the event and ween u off accordingly.

  5. The Gaijin says:

    There’s no disputing that intelligence is the only thing required in order to pass these tests. I was just making the observation that he’s clearly the most suspect looking guy on the card.

    Also, I’d assume (though I don’t know for a fact) that it’s customary to test the fighters in the main event.

  6. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    120 days? Certainly sounds rather like a slap on the wrist, or at least, it would be for an established fighter. Basically gets an extra month between fights.

  7. Iain Liddle says:

    I’m definitely not saying that Shamrock wasn’t tested, and there’s a chance he passed with flying colours, but as we are not told anything then it’s all guesswork.

  8. Zack says:

    “Though I guess use of HGH is still largely untested.”

    Correct answer.

  9. cyphron says:

    “There‚Äôs no disputing that intelligence is the only thing required in order to pass these tests.”

    You should start a company on how to outwit drug testing. You would be a millionaire if all it takes is “intelligence” to defeat drug testing.

    The athletics commission must be wasting valuable tax dollars on testing for substance that could be easily defeated by “intelligence.” Sean Sherk must be the biggest dumbass out there. Lets throw in Tim Sylvia, Josh Barnett, Kevin Randleman, Stephan Bonnar… etc. If you’re not caught, you must be so intelligent. God forbid that drug testing actually catches cheaters.

  10. The Gaijin says:

    Go talk to Dick Pound, former head of WADA. I’m hardly the only person with this opinion and if you think I’m just some trolling imbecile attempting to de-value the current effectiveness of commission drug testing, you’re so wrong it’s not even funny.

    I’ve met and spoken with him personally on several occasions and he has continually and openly stated these exact sentiments.

    You need to have year-round, random and surprise testing. This “we’re testing you (maybe) when you’re fighting (and you know in advance, with good lead time), but that’s it” is a completely flawed approach. It leaves so many openings to end-around the rules it’s not funny. Yes, it’s better than nothing but its FAR, FAR from effective.

    Yes those guys listed above are idiots b/c they apparently didn’t have their chemistry and timing cycles properly figured out. And of course it catches cheaters, just not the smart ones.

    Sorry to burst your little bubble.

  11. cyphron says:

    The point of drug testing is to keep certain fighters from having an advantage during the fight. If they take steroids to help themselves heal and got off it by fight time, then so what? Everyone knows that as long as you don’t take drugs long enough, you’ll pass. That’s a given. However, should they be presumed guilty because of that despite the fact that these fighters pass their test?

    But that’s why you drug test…so that fighters get off whatever illicit crap they’re on before they fight which affords his opponent as equal a footing as possible.

    Pride fighters are indicative of why drug testing works. There are plenty of anecdotal evidence that most Pride fighters’ abilities seem to drop off a cliff once they transitioned to the US:

    Here’s where I go off on a tangent. Pride fans will flame me, but I don’t care.

    Shogun was defeated by a B-level fighter, gassed easily, and now injury-prone? That’s anecdotal evidence of juicing.

    Filho? There’s ample evidence that he’s juicing as well. Terrible performance when fighting B level fighters as well as evidence of his gassing in most of his fights. Now he’s out because of “addiction?”

    Gomi? Beaten by Nick Diaz, a B level fighter at best. Gomi seems indestructible in Japan but keeps faltering in America. Hmmm.

    Cro Cop. Different demeanor in UFC fights versus Pride fights. Body looks rather flabby in the UFC. Lost to average fighters.

    Wanderlei. The axe murderer was named for his ferocity in destroying his opponents. Why does he fight like a normal UFC fighter in the UFC? Hmmm.

    ***Drug testing works for what it’s intended to do, which is to bring the “supermen” back to earth***

    BTW, until Cage Rage comes out and say that Ken Shamrock was tested, I will assume that he’s on the juice. The guy doesn’t look normal at all.

  12. Shane says:

    “The point of drug testing is to keep certain fighters from having an advantage during the fight. If they take steroids to help themselves heal and got off it by fight time, then so what?”

    Completely wrong. What about the general health of the fighters? How many dead pro-wresters with enlarged hearts have you heard about?

  13. The Gaijin says:

    What a fucking apologist.

    You get more and more pathetic with each post cyphron.

    What a weak apologist you;ve become…PATHETIC.


  14. The Gaijin says:

    funny that you forget Diaz had all his trouble at 170, then moved to 155-160 and looked good.

    In US terms that’s smart strategy, but if you compare PRIDE vs. UFC it’s “cheating foreign fighters getting beat by american fighters” rather than recognizing a fighter might improve by moving down in weight.

    What a WAD you are, you pathetic whiff.

  15. cyphron says:

    Yeah, bring on the ad hominem attacks. Typical of you, Gaijin.

    Completely wrong. What about the general health of the fighters? How many dead pro-wresters with enlarged hearts have you heard about?

    Thanks, Shane. Add that to why drug tests are a *good* thing.


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