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Keith Kizer: Urine is ‘obviously’ better than blood for steroid testing

By Zach Arnold | December 14, 2011

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Tuesday proved to be quite the day on the radio circuit if you were interested in commentary about the situation between Alistair Overeem and the Nevada State Athletic Commission over drug testing. If you didn’t follow the details of Monday’s NSAC meeting, read the details here.

Keith Kizer appeared on Mauro Ranallo’s show yesterday and stated the following:

“Well, it depends on what you’re testing for. If you’re testing for steroids, then it’s obvious that urine’s the better test. There’s, yeah, no doubt about that, yeah. In fact, those blood tests done by [Overeem’s] doctor wasn’t even for steroids, per se. It was done for testosterone, DHEA, FSH, LH, and I think prolactin as well. And, again, all those came back in normal ranges and that was good to see that, as well. But, a) it wasn’t a steroid test and b) it wasn’t a urine test and even if you tested for steroids in the blood, they usually get out of your system within 6-to-20 hours as opposed to the urine test where it takes quite a while to get out of your system, maybe in some cases months.”

“It’s not like there’s sports not going on in Holland. Of course, they’re big in things like soccer and volleyball and bicycle racing and other things as well where they do [perform] drug testing, so I’m not certain why his doctor ordered that test other than just perhaps it’s something his doctor’s not familiar with or doesn’t get involved with. Maybe he’s a general practitioner, I don’t know the answer. But, nonetheless, it was the wrong test and he needs to jump through these initial hurdles because of that. So, it may be a situation where what I’m going to try to do is develop some sort of written protocol to send to these fighters explaining exactly what the basic steroid panel is. I think most doctors would understand that but if there a couple out there that don’t the fighter can take this written protocol with him or her to the doctor’s office and it and lay out exactly what types of diuretics, what kind of steroids, and what type of masking agencies that are done on the basic steroid panel that Quest does and Labcore does and a lot of other, the UCLA lab, they all kind of follow the same guidelines via WADA. What’s tested in those three categories: steroids, diuretics, and masking agencies and that should be a benefit to everybody to have it written out.”

He would go on to say that Alistair Overeem would give a urine sample at a Quest Diagnostics accredited/affiliated lab in the UK and that the sample would be transferred to Atlanta for examination.

As Dr. David Black, the man who worked with the NFL & WWE in drug testing programs, said on 60 Minutes: testosterone is the base chemical of steroids. Blood testing also is better for HGH detection. It also happens to be an excellent barometer if you measure for hematocrit levels as Victor Conte has suggested. A hematocrit standard by athletic commissions would catch many more cheaters. It’s that simple.

But, no, urine tests are supposedly better at catching steroid users according to Keith Kizer. Loretta Hunt appeared on the radio show after Mr. Kizer’s interview and backed up his claims on the matter. Travis Tygart of USADA, of course, believes that you need both urine & blood testing for effective detection of drug abuse. Yes, urine testing can be useful — to a degree — if you use Carbon Isotope Ratio examination, as Don Catlin has backed. However, do you expect CIR tests to be done on all urine samples by various state athletic commissions? Unfortunately, no.

Regarding the claim about some half-life elements still existing in urine samples months after drug usage, you’re talking about boldenone (equipose). Only the stupidest of steroid users would get caught using it in MMA, given how long the half-life is (up to six months in your system).

Perhaps it would be a good time to remind everyone about the launch of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency. They’re on Twitter & Facebook, as well.

There were some other incredible comments made by the Executive Director of the NSAC. He claimed that contacting representatives of fighters as opposed to the fighters themselves for getting the drug test samples is better because it doesn’t give fighters as much suspicion about an upcoming ‘random’ drug test request from the commission. I don’t even know where to begin in response to that line of thinking.

If you want random out-of-competition drug testing, you don’t give fighters or their reps any advance notice. You approach the fighter through the mail (with an immediate time demand) or approach them in person like you would when issuing a subpoena and you tell them where to go get tested immediately. If you can’t live up to that standard for administering such tests, then don’t call your drug testing procedure ‘random’ because it’s not. Again, the issue in the Overeem/NSAC case is that the commission, in my opinion, did not do its job in executing the drug test request or the procurement of the drug testing sample. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.

Keith Harris:

Another reason for immediation resignation (of Keith Kizer) is allowing Brock to take his urine sample three days late, no questions asked!

Wojslaw Rysiewski:

According to (Dave) Meltzer, Lesnar took his ‘random’ test 4 days after the notice from Kizer.

Eddie Goldman presented an evisceration of Keith Kizer’s arguments on his radio show and laid out just why the Nevada State Athletic Commission looked foolish during Monday’s agenda meeting.

Start of commentary

“First of all, they were discussing their so-called ‘random out-of-competition testing program.’ The fact is this program is a joke because they give the athletes notice. It’s not what WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and its affiliates do which is random, unannounced testing. That’s what people like Floyd Mayweather have insisted upon for his fights where they show up, unannounced, and they say you have to take the test right then and there. This is not what (Nevada’s) doing. They contact the representatives and they were bragging how within 24-to-48 hours they get this done. There’s a lot of stuff that goes out of your system within 24 hours, let alone 48 hours but they were bragging about this and it only involved urine testing and not blood testing. Remember the nonsense from Keith Kizer of the Nevada commission that they can get everything they want from urine testing, which of course is not true because there’s all kinds of banned substances that you need blood testing for and, in fact, the Nevada commission does blood testing for things like Hepatitis and HIV and things like that but for drug testing they don’t do it, they still refuse to do it. So, whom are they protecting?

“And, also, the fact that they give notice makes this so-called ‘random testing’ preposterous to even call it that and I e-mailed Victor Conte… and he wrote back:

‘I don’t know how it can be considered random drug testing if the athlete is given prior notice. It doesn’t make sense to me.’

“The commission said that there was not a sense of urgency on the representative of Alistair Overeem but the fact is [the commission] are not set up to deal with these situations internationally while Overeem was on his way to Holland. So, eventually, Overeem does take a test the following week and he said this was on November 23rd and he went to a hospital and it was a blood test, but again the Nevada commission wanted a urine test and they really didn’t give him instructions or a place on how exactly do you do this. This is because the Nevada State Athletic Commission are a bunch of political appointees in the state of Nevada, in the United States. They are trying to regulate an international sport where people like Overeem, who is from Holland… they’re trying to regulate this sport and they are not set up to do it and they end up looking like a bunch of clowns in trying to do it.”

The absurdity of sending Overeem to the UK for collecting a urine sample

“The fact is, there is drug testing in the Netherlands and the Netherlands is a signatory to the various protocols that the World Anti-Doping Agency has. In fact, if this pathetic commission knew how to use the Internet or more importantly cared about this…

“If they worked directly with WADA they would very easily find the WADA affiliate in the Netherlands called Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands (Logo Dopo Autoriteit). … There are all sorts of phone numbers and e-mail addresses on their (web site), so if you’re really working with them, if you’re really serious about this, it’s pretty easy to find who’s doing this in the Netherlands. It’s a very advanced country and they’re part of WADA, so it could be done. But the Nevada commission wants to pretend that they’re going to replicate their own international anti-doping network. It’s absolutely preposterous and absurd and that’s the real issue that they’re not working as part of WADA. They’re avoiding doing it.

“Now, WADA also has what’s called an Athlete Whereabouts program for just these kinds of situations because WADA’s involved with all sort of international federations and international sports and so athletes are traveling and living and training all around the world and you have to be able to get in touch with people and the athlete has to let your local affiliates of WADA know where they’re going to be if they’re not going to be training at home. So, they have this all set up, this has been done already. Instead of this nonsense that ‘well, (we) called his representative and Overeem was flying and the representative didn’t call back until Monday’, then they had to find Overeem in the Netherlands, this that and the other thing… all this stuff is a big excuse. These problems have been solved already, long before 2011. WADA’s Whereabouts program is also easily found on the Internet, the WADA web site and you just look up their Whereabouts program.

“So, what’s happening here is that Overeem is taking the blame for the failure of the Nevada State Athletic Commission to do all of this kind of testing with WADA and follow their protocols. This is utterly preposterous.

“That’s the reality of having these local political hacks try to regulate international sports. This is bad governance, it’s terrible governance, and it’s something that can easily be done in a country like The United States.

“USA Wrestling, which is the governing body for wrestling in the United States and is part of the US Olympic committee and the International Olympic Committee and FILA, the international wrestling federation, and all of that has better drug testing for their own athletes through the Olympic program and they’re generally not a professional sport (although some of the wrestlers do get some stipends and do win some prize money for winning various tournaments in the Olympics and that sort of thing) but it’s not a professional sport like Mixed Martial Arts and boxing are.

“So, if USA Wrestling can do all of this and I applaud them for that, why can’t these commissions do it as well? There’s a reason. They don’t want to do it! And if you read a lot of the comments of people again in the so-called combat sports media they don’t want them to do it, either, which is why there’s so much confusion being spread on these issues.

“So, [the NSAC members} sound all haughty, if you heard any of that hearing or you read about it, they sound all serious and concerned and they tried to make Overeem apologize and all this kind of stuff. You know what? I don’t blame the athlete on this because he went and he took a blood test! And then they said, ‘oh, it’s the wrong test.’ So, then, he went to his own doctor to take the urine test because he said in Holland you just don’t go to a facility. Well, maybe he didn’t know that, maybe his own personal doctor didn’t know that… But in the Netherlands the WADA affiliate would know that and [the NSAC] did not direct him to that, given the information on that, they did not direct him to the Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands which could have cleared up all this kind of stuff. In fact, they should be working with these various international affiliates of WADA but they’re not. They’re not even working with USADA, the US Anti-Doping Agency in The United States. So, how the hell are these local yokel political hacks from Las Vegas going to work with international affiliates in all these other countries, half of which they probably couldn’t even find on a map?

“It’s really pathetic and I think it speaks about how bad the governance is in the combat sports and Mixed Martial Arts and boxing that we’re still discussing these kinds of issues and, again, the media particularly in the United States is so poorly educated on this or don’t want to be educated on this that you’re not getting very much information on it.”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 49 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

49 Responses to “Keith Kizer: Urine is ‘obviously’ better than blood for steroid testing”

  1. Keith Harris says:

    The out of competition drug testing is a complete waste of everyone’s time and the NSAC’s money if fighters can make up excuses to delay their test. Either do it properly or don’t do it at all. Now we know why the limited out of competition drug testing Nevada has done has never caught anyone, because the fighters can submit their urine samples later than demanded. Such a joke.

  2. kutti says:

    just legalize it and dont waste time. its obvious that brock and alistar are on drugs. everyone who spends time with some weight-lifting knows that. these muscles are not natural.

    • Mr.roadblock says:

      Exactly right. That’s the whole appeal of this fight. It’s Godzilla vs Mothra.

    • RST says:

      Ehh, we’ve never seen a much smaller Brock.
      Even in his highschool pics.

      At least a Brock who wasn’t sick.

      Some of those cornfed fellas are just plain naturally monsters.

      Brock is obviously huge even among them, but one of them has to be the biggest one.

      Its even possible that Overeem is one of those guys who just puts on muscles easily.

      I’ve known body builders who work really hard to get results, and they’ll tell about some guy who barely has to try and he just swells up twice his size in no time.

      • RST says:

        And I dont mean guys who swell up twice their size on juice in the gym.

        I mean guys who go into county periodically and come back out a month or two later twice their size.

      • edub says:

        Brock was no where near the same size in HS. He wreslted at 190 if I’m not mistaken.

        • RST says:

          I’m sure he wasn’t the same size as he is as a grown man, but in the picture I saw he was all neck and more muscle bound then normal people.

          IMO, the Brock probably has done steroids at somme point.
          He was a pro-rassler.

          But I’ll bet that he would be pretty much the same size without them, probably with just less definition.

          Which basically describes how he has looked during his MMA career compared to his rasslin physique.

        • RST says:

          “He wreslted at 190 if I’m not mistaken.”

          How much did you weight in Highschool?

          I probably hit 165 by the age of 20.

          Without cutting.

  3. Bob says:

    Kizer is somewhat correct in that the kidney tissue can store the steroids (as do fat, liver, etc) for some time before excretion.

    And if steroid metabolism was as simple as: Blood –> Kidney –> excretion, he would be correct.

    Some steroids are primarily metabolized by the liver and excreted in the bile, and the steroids and metabolites can be recovered and assayed from the fecal material.

    Hypothetically, if the assay sensitivity was the same for urine and blood, and someone were using an anabolic at the limit of detection, primarily metabolized by the liver and excreted via the bile; then in that instance a urine test would not be the best choice.

    Does anyone know if a pre-screen (immunoassay) is used before mass-spec, because I’m wondering what kind of masking agent would interfere with the MS.

    IIRC, the GH isoforms normalize within about 72hrs. But there is also a way to defeat that test by adding the exogenous isoform (can’t remember which off-hand) to normalize the ratio.

    • Fluyid says:

      You sound like you know what you’re talking about.

    • RST says:


      That somebody would go through all of that trouble.

      But I guess being sexy, and making a living at it is worth all of that.

      Test them for both!

      Is some pee and a shot too much to ask?

      At least from the top 1 percent?

  4. Chris says:

    Keith Kizer is a joke.

  5. One thing that’s not mentioned here is… if you miss tests under WADA or USADA rules, it’s only a strike against you in a three strike system. So, in retrospect, NSAC’s policy, at the very least, had some repercussions as far as adding more tests and costing Overeem some coin.

    That’s a major misconception here, and I fell pray to it as well. In my mind, there shouldn’t be a gray area. If you are called to take a random test, it must be taken immediately. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. But according to even the most scrutinizing testing organizations like WADA and USADA, there is room for error by the participants.

    But really, what does everyone expect? The fight will produce huge revenue, and I doubt anyone on the commission board is about to screw the UFC out of a couple million bucks in marketing and flying Overeem around the world. The NSAC had a chance to do what other commissions and even WADA or the USADA don’t do, put their foot down and put a stop to this absurd game of lying. Understandably, a strict program probably limits the UFC’s draw to Vegas because of all the hoops.

    The random testing policy is worthless without more funding. 48 hour notice is pointless. Just ask USADA’s Tygart. Unless it is unannounced and you have to drop your pants that instant, it won’t work.

    This all sounds like a way for the NSAC to come off as looking like they did their due diligence when in reality — they were incompetent.

    • RST says:

      “…it’s only a strike against you in a three strike system.”


      I’m no fan of the original namesake (Yes, lets punish everybody because you cant be bothered to discern between a candy bar thief from a child murderer! BTW, Prison guards make good money…), but taking a closer look at past offenders of the same sport is perfectly justified.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    A fighter should give him a bag of poop and call it a test sample the next time they want to do a random drug test.

    Kizer is pathetic. The people asking questions to Overeem were pathetic. “Is this your first time fighting at Heavyweight?” WTF!! Do you even watch combat sports? Why are you in a position of power if you don’t?

    • edub says:

      I almost went nuts listening to this. The wrong people still hold way too much control over these issues.

    • RST says:

      “Why are you in a position of power if you don’t?”

      They are usually in positions of power because they dont.

      Their skill is inserting themselves into positions of power.

  7. kintamachikara says:

    Who is Eddie Goldman?

  8. Jim Bob says:


    I keep hearing conflicting reports on Brock.

    1. Notice is sent out on Nov 17th
    2. Brock’s people respond back, in the am, ask permission to go to a hospital, as no facility nearby.

    3.??? What day did Brock actually go to the hospital?

  9. RST says:

    Lyoto Machida says its better for pretty much everything.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    480,000 is the estimated PPV buys for UFC 140 according to Dave Meltzer.

    The sky is not falling, unlike what some fans said. Fans just wanted bigger named fighters.

    Looks like Jon Jones is slowly turning into a PPV attraction. They might have a long shelf life with that guy.

    • Nottheface says:

      Actually 440,000. 480k worldwide according to Meltzer. If those numbers hold up it would make it lower than Jones/Shogun and Jones/Rampage and the lowest selling LHW title ppv since UFC 57.

      Sky isn’t falling but business is definitely cooling: only two events this year have broken 500,000 ppvs. That hasn’t happened since 2005.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        The PPV is in the same month as a Brock Lesnar PPV. The #2 PPV draw in the company.

        440,000 is a mega number with that into considersation.

      • edub says:

        Yep a combination of more events, and people getting injured have to be aiding that cool down too.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Fans would better off with 12 big shows a year. 8 PPV’s and 4 FOX shows.

          But as long as they have 3 to 4 guys who can get 400,000+ PPV buys, they are not going to stop their 12 to 15 PPV’s a year model.

  11. liger05 says:

    Didnt Cotto v Margarito do 600,000 buys. I thought that was real good and did better than the majority of UFC PPV’s in 2011.

    440,000 is by no means a bad number and the number for the year do not mean the alarm bells should be ringing just its funny to think 2-3 years ago people were claiming boxing was dead.

    • The Gaijin says:


      • nottheface says:

        Little discussed but boxing had a great year, financially. 7 ppvs by Showtime and HBO in North America for around 5 millions buys total. Three ppv did more than a million (four if you count worldwide buys for Klitschko-Haye).

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Boxing had a great year financially?

          A handful of fighters did. Which is the same old story.

        • edub says:

          Rios, Antillon, Pacquiao, Mayweather, Khan, Peterson, Klitschko (*2), Haye, Helenius, Chisora, Cotto, Margarito, Adamek, Pascal, Bute, Ward, Gamboa, Solis, JML, JMM, Rafael Marquez, Nishioka, Froch, G. Johnson, C. John, Judah, Morales, JCC jr., Canelo Alvarez, Burns, Katsidis, John Murray, (plus many more) had fantastic years when it comes to pay in boxing.

          That’s 7 handful’s just off the top of my head.

  12. 45 Huddle says:

    Strikeforce & Showtime deal has officially been announced.

    8 shows in 2012. The undercard fights will be shown on Showtime Extreme.

    Also the winner of the Heavyweight Grand Prix will continue to fight in Strikeforce.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Think about this….

      If they run 8 shows a year, and do 10 fights per card…. That’s only 80 fights a year.

      If you figure with injuries that the roster will average 2.5 fights per year…. That’s enough room for a roster of only 64 fighters.

      That’s not very big considering that they also have female fights in there. It will be enough to steal some talent away from Bellator that they don’t want in the UFC yet, but it’s hardly a huge TV deal.

      • edub says:

        Very interesting.

        One sentence Dana says they will be down to one women’s division. The next Coker says they will still have two.

        Another disparity is that they are saying that their HW division is leaving, but the GP winner will fight other HWs.

        Very disorganized for a Zuffa event.

        As you eluded too I find it very hard to think that they will have enough space to keep their fighters happy.

        • cutch says:

          The GP winner will fight one more time after the tournament and then the whole division will move over to the UFC.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Makes sense to get rid of Heavyweights in Strikeforce. The division just isn’t stacked enough to divide it.

          Heck, I would say they should probably do the same thing for Light Heavyweight. Have SF be Middleweight, Welterweight, & Lightweight for men…. Which are the 3 most stacked divisions in the sport. And then do 2 female divisions.

          My guess is that they will try to get Cyborg to get to 135, and then do 135 and 125 for females where there is more talent available.

          This isn’t a huge deal. It’s not going to house tons of fighters. But because they can show every fight on the card on Showtime, they will be able to maximize the roster.

          And for a younger fighter, it’s a much more attractive place to go then Bellator…. As the option to get into the UFC will always be there long term.

        • RST says:

          “My guess is that they will try to get Cyborg to get to 135, and then do 135 and 125 for females where there is more talent available.”

          Zuffa isn’t THAT interested in chick MMA.
          (Its interesting, but…)

          They’re not going to be bothered about close to the same weight, give or take 20 pounds, as long as they dont get yelled at for sexist.

          You’re not even supposed to ask a chick her weight anyway.

          (And as if it matters when you get down to the tacks of things.)

        • Chromium says:

          W125 is deeper than W135 and they don’t cost much money, plus there are some potential stars there. If they want to keep a monopoly on high-level Women’s MMA to keep someone else from coming along and exploiting that niche I think it would be prudent to expand downward.

          Meanwhile, shallow as W145 is, Cyborg is too much of a star to wipe out her division.

      • Chromium says:

        Also the true average number of fights a fighter gets even in the UFC is actually a bit below 2.5 but whatever. 6 divisions, even if W145 is a micro-division, and just 70 roster spots means that divisions are going to get very small, and non-stars will get cut from the roster very easily.

        Maybe they’ll end up doing more than 10 fights per event though, I don’t know.

        • RST says:

          W is a legitimate division.

          Its as legitimate as fly weight.

          There aren’t too many… Uhh enthusiasts… fighting for the top, but as long as somebody is then its comp.

          And somebody should be the best.

  13. RST says:

    Ahhh, so UfC WILL be bringing over those rare and valuable HW’s.

    This all actually makes sense.

    SF if the new WEC, but with a MUCH better broadcast position.

    In fact having the mid pack guys on a little bit lighter duty on a family accessible channel seems to work out perfectly.

    To avoid offending old farts, zealots and ladies in general of any persuasion.

    And Gil and Crocodile and the better guys from SF under HW may be somewhat ruling a small pond, but as long as they pay the the champs right what did the devil say?

    Zuffa is getting on the good foot again.

    Everybody has to go through valley’s.

  14. Jim Allcorn says:

    I’m glad to see that they’re going to finish up the Grand Prix, feature the winner in a one off fight & then absorb the rest of the heavies of note into the UFC. That plan works for me.
    And one of the fights I’d like to see made ASAP is “Gravedigger” Griggs vs Matt Mitrione. That has fun brawl written ALL over it IMO!

    • RST says:

      I dno’t know who gravedigger is (other then that tottaly awesome rasslin guy), but i’ll watch a meathead fight anyday.

      He’s just fun to watch, like peewee.

      (Matching those 2 would be a burn of attributes. Dont do it joel silva!)

  15. […] something. And it’s hard to blame them when the “basic steroid panel” mandated by the NSAC doesn’t even test for all the various PED’s out there these […]

  16. […] NSAC Head Keith Kizer Talks Differences in Blood/Urine Testing ( […]

  17. […] if they really wanted to catch more guys in the act of doping. Suffice to say, we don’t buy what Keith Kizer is selling in regards to the claim that urine drug testing is more effective than blood testing. It may be […]

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