Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Nevada to Re-Launch Out-of-Competition Drug Testing for Combat Sports

(Steroids: You’re doing it wrong. Bizarre photo-illustration via SportsNickel)

Last Wednesday, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill that will provide more funds for out-of-competition steroid testing of MMA fighters, boxers, and kickboxers. The money will come from an existing ticket fee, and will pay for random drug screenings at any time, including training periods. The new law goes into effect July 1st.

Currently, the Nevada State Athletic Commission gets $1 per ticket sold for large MMA/boxing events, and 50 cents for smaller events that gross less than $500,000. Some of that money will now be diverted to year-round testing of performance enhancing drugs, both at a professional and amateur level.

It’s not the first time that Nevada has tried to do this. MMAFighting passes along some history:

Nevada can randomly test any licensed fighter at any time. The state’s commission has had that power since early 2008 but often lacked the funds to employ it. UFC 84 fighters Sean Sherk and B.J. Penn were among the first to be tested out of competition, but within two years, the program was unfunded and unused. By February 2011, the program was out of money after legislators withdrew its funding, effectively rendering it useless as a weapon to catch drug cheats.

Immediately afterward, commission executive director Keith Kizer requested the state find a new source of revenue to fund the program, and the newly signed bill is the compromise.

Keep in mind that funds from the dollar-per-ticket fee won’t lead to a dramatic windfall for the NSAC:

Last year, for example, the UFC held six events in Nevada that drew a total of over 40,000 paid fans. It included four pay-per-view events that drew $1 million-plus gates, and two smaller Ultimate Fighter Finales that drew less than $500,000 each. Those ticket sales resulted in Nevada earning $39,189.50 in fees.

Still, it’ll be enough to keep the program alive, and keep Nevada-licensed fighters somewhat honest. (California has also effectively used out-of-competition testing in the past, as Josh Barnett found out the hard way in 2009.) Anyway, if you’re a fan of healthy fighters and a level playing field, it’s a positive step forward. “Cycling” won’t be as easy to pull off when a little man in a white lab-coat could show up at your gym on any random afternoon, without warning.

Previously: MMA Steroid Busts: The Definitive Timeline

Cagepotato Comments

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noizy- June 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm
It's fairly appropriate (and ironic) that the method for cheating about PED use is called "cycling". Lol. Cause you know, cyclist are avid PED users.
Pen Fifteen- June 20, 2011 at 11:49 am
The analogy of weight-cutting and steroids is a faulty one. Banning steroids is not about protecting people from themselves, its about creating a fair basis for competition. Weight-cutting is unhealthy, but so are plenty of other aspects of athletic training if taken to the extreme. Human bodies don't come in sizes that naturally correspond to weight classes, and when you have gaps of 15-20 pounds between classes, you will have size disparities, whether or not people cut weight.
ccman- June 20, 2011 at 10:57 am
Clyde. asian proverbs are not open for debate... zip it (Laughing actually)
And i would be more impressed with same day weigh ins. Kenny florian reportably had 30#'s back on last week from just I.v.'s That can't
a. be healthy
b. Be fair.
WK- June 20, 2011 at 9:55 am
That's hilarious. I'm going to ask mine when I get the chance =)
Clyde- June 20, 2011 at 9:49 am
@sloppyspray; I said a similar thing to a Judo sensei at one point. I asked "if strength is unimportant, and a smaller man can beat a bigger man, why do you have weight classes?"

He was not impressed.
TheHulkSmash- June 20, 2011 at 9:05 am
Good first step - next, protect the fighters from themselves with out-of-competition weight checks. Extreme weight cuts are the same story as steroids, if some are doing it, then everyone feels pressured to do it, even though we all know it's terrible for people.

Also it would be sweet, because the fighters would all be stronger and faster at their natural weights.
treetrunkchad- June 20, 2011 at 9:05 am
Ohhhhhhh, so thats how they add the plaster after the gloves are on
ExpectJesusBro- June 20, 2011 at 8:10 am
I'd do 'roids then pee for lesnar just to fuck with him.
rogerw- June 20, 2011 at 8:00 am
Haha, I don't envy the job of the tester who gets told to bang on Lesnar's door at 7am and demands a urine sample.
FrontKick Dentist- June 20, 2011 at 7:52 am
Chael Sonnen's shriveled balls are crying.
Get Off Me- June 20, 2011 at 7:36 am
^things to do. If you have the testosterone of a 93 year old man, than for your own protection, you should not be cleared to fight after injecting steroids into your body.
Get Off Me- June 20, 2011 at 7:35 am
Now they just have to work on that exemption bullshit and make sure fighters do not take steroids period, there is no place for that shit in MMA. If a comission has the purpose of protecting fighters than drug testing should be at the top of the pecking order of
Sloppyspray- June 20, 2011 at 7:33 am
I say we just allow steroids and let everyone take them!

But seriously, I dont know how much steroids have been helping these guys, most of the "obviously" roided up guys haven't been doing so hot for multiple reasons (gas easily, too bulky, not quick enough, lack of technical ability, etc.). Plus, isn't that the whole premise of BJJ, that the smaller weaker fighter can win against a larger stronger opponent?

Side note, I wonder what the punishment is for refusing to be tested? 6 month suspension? Might just be worth it to refuse the test for some fighter based on their fight situation.
Viva Hate- June 20, 2011 at 7:27 am
In other news, Josh Barnett and Sean Sherk just announced their retirement, strange.