(Not pictured: Fabricio Werdum and Junior Dos Santos, merrily sharing a caipirinha.)
All of Roy Nelson‘s rabble-rousing about drug-testing has paid off…sort of. While Big Country has been campaigning to have his upcoming fight against Shane Carwin overseen by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA), it was confirmed today that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has informed both fighters that they’ll be subject to random testing at some point before their December 15th meeting at the TUF 16 Finale. The fighters will need to provide samples within 24 hours of request, and the results will be returned in approximately two weeks.
(Serious question: The NSAC is completely within its rights to randomly drug test fighters out of competition, so why is it necessary to inform those fighters that that’s what it intends to do? I’m just saying, if you were Nelson or Carwin, and you were, hypothetically, using steroids up until yesterday, and the NSAC calls you and says they’re going to randomly test you sometime in the next two months, wouldn’t that be your signal to stop using PEDs immediately and hope they’re out of your system by the time they ask for your piss?)
If you’ve been keeping up on this story, you know that Carwin’s camp had been against VADA’s involvement from the beginning, with Shane’s manager Jason Genet calling VADA an “opportunistic” organization with an “anti-Shane” bias, and questioning why an independent testing body is any better than the athletic commission testing currently in place for MMA fighters. “I’m questioning where the relevancy coming from,” Genet said earlier this week. “As a manager, it’s not that I wouldn’t agree with outside testing. I want to know what’s wrong with what’s currently taking place.”
So here’s Brent Brookhouse of BloodyElbow, pointing out the criticism that this immediately opens Shane and his camp up to:
First of all, “what’s wrong with the testing” is that it’s woefully bad. VADA tests for more substances and via more methods than anything the commissions are doing. Commissions aren’t engaging in Carbon Isotope Ratio testing, VADA is. To act like there’s the slightest debate over if VADA is better than the commission checking urine is absurd and nonsense of the highest degree…Now, with Carwin’s prior attachment to a steroid pharmacy and now looking like they’re ducking VADA testing, the accepted best method for combat sports testing, is not going to make Shane look particularly good.
And wasn’t that Nelson’s intention all along? Like BJ Penn and Floyd Mayweather before him, this public outcry to “clean up the sport” is just a new form of gamesmanship, in which a fighter can make his opponent come off as a cheater in the eyes of the public, simply by refusing the special terms laid out by his opponent. If Carwin winds up whooping Nelson’s ass, Nelson can always call the result into question. Who knows what Shane was really using before the fight, right? The VADA testing could have revealed the truth, but Shane ducked it. Maybe the fight would have gone a different way if blah blah blah, etc.
For now, the NSAC’s random testing will have to be good enough. And while that testing isn’t the most effective method available, it’s not completely useless either.