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Everything You Need to Know About the UFC’s New Drug-Testing Policy

(“Okay Georges, we’ve done everything you’ve asked, now will you please come back? I can only book Lawler vs. Hendricks about 7 more times before people will start to grow restless.” Photo via Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

As part of their on-again-off-again-back-on again relationship with year-round, out-of-competition drug testing, the UFC held a press conference yesterday to announce several major changes to their program, as well as further detail the specific punishments and guidelines of this game-changing policy.

The complete rundown is after the jump.


Hi-larious Quote of the Day: Vitor Belfort Thinks It’s “Unfair” That He’s Being Drug-Tested So Much

(“Hey bro, the supplement ladder is too high.” via Belfort’s instagram.)

Vitor Belfort is getting frustrated, y’all, and it’s easy to see why. “The Phenom’s” middleweight title shot against Chris Weidman has been delayed a half dozen times already, and was most recently pushed back to May after the champ once again went down with an injury. With each delay, the 37-year old finds himself drawing closer and closer to TRT-withdrawal-induced mortality, and to top it all off, he’s being unfairly drug-tested up the whazoo.

What’s that, you’ve taken some issue with our use of the term “unfairly”? Well take it up with Belfort, who despite passing his most recent random test, is still inexplicably being tested at every turn leading up to his UFC 187 title fight with Weidman. As he told the Brazilian media (as translated by MMAFighting):

In 2013, I was the only one (tested randomly). I was tested seven times for my fight with Weidman. Seven times. Did they test my opponent seven times?


NSAC to Begin Implementing Intensive Drug-Testing Procedures…on NSAC

(We hear that if you play that song backwards on loop, it lines up perfectly with the Wizard of Oz, maaaaaaan.)

Disclaimer: Guys, I am really digging the articles you’ve been sending in, but especially these Onion-style pieces ala “Ultimate Roided Fucking Killers League.” Here is another such article that’s just as hilarious. — Jared

By CP Reader Scott Johnson

Off the heels of the major announcement made by the UFC last Wednesday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has decided to follow suit with a groundbreaking decision of their own. Beginning June 30th, NSAC will begin implementing a new drug testing policy upon itself in the hopes that it will curb the erratic, irrational behavior that has long plagued its decision making process. (See: everything from the past month)

The new policy will see representatives of the NSAC, which includes referees, judges and commission members, be subject to year round random drug tests as well as mandatory testing prior to any events or hearings. These new changes are expected to help to eradicate the poor decisions that have adversely affected all aspects of MMA.

“After reviewing the hearing that took place on February 17th of 2015, it was clear that changes needed to be made to ensure that the integrity and good name of the Nevada State Athletic Commission would remain intact,” said Francisco Aguilar without a hint of irony or self-awareness in his voice.


The UFC and PEDs: Where Do We Go From Here?

(Photo via Getty.)

By Chris Huntemann, Columnist

Usually when I ask that question, it’s in the wake of a pay-per-view and I’m wondering aloud at what’s next for the fighters who competed on it. This time around, I’m talking about something that affects ALL mixed martial artists in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The UFC announced last week that it will implement far stricter, far more comprehensive drug testing in the wake of fighters like Anderson Silva and Hector Lombard failing tests for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), while Jon Jones and Nick Diaz failed tests for cocaine and marijuana, respectively.

Increased drug testing and harsher penalties can only help the UFC, and mixed martial arts in general. But what brought on this increase in failed tests?


Game Changer: UFC To Implement Year-Round, Out-of-Competition Drug Testing, Advocate for Longer Suspensions

Unlike the NSAC meeting that preceded it, yesterday’s UFC press conference actually managed to make some huge waves in the MMAsphere.

It got off to a rough start, though, with Dana White addressing Anderson Silva and Hector Lombard‘s drug test failures in a tone that could only be described as “fucking hostile.” Most notably, he pointed out that the UFC had not yet received Lombard’s test results when they booked him against Rory MacDonald, which the most basic research will point out was a bold-faced lie. Second, he denied ever claiming to have scraped the promotion’s out-of-competition drug-testing program, which again, false.

Thankfully, White handed the reins over to the cool and collected Lorenzo Fertitta after announcing that Macdonald would instead face Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title on July 11th (the timing of which seemed…odd). From there, Fertitta dropped a bombshell of an announcement in regards to the future of drug testing in the UFC. Join us after the jump for all the details.


Live Stream: Catch the UFCs Drug-Testing Press Conference Right Here at 1 PM EST

(Just a couple-a wild and craaazy guys.)

The UFC is facing a bit of a crisis, Nation. Just a handful of events into 2015, the promotion has already seen several of its top fighters get popped for various banned substances, leading many to believe that #TheTimeIsMostDefinitelyNotNow to be an MMA fan. The UFC needs to nip their drug problem in the bud, which is why Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta will be holding a press conference to address the future of the promotion’s drug-testing practices starting at 1 EST.

Thankfully, this conference will be streamed live via the UFC’s website and not Fight Pass, so join us after the jump to catch the proceedings as they occur from inside the Red Rock Casino Resort Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Following Cung Le Debacle, UFC Ends Its Out-of-Competition Drug Testing Program

(White, seen here introducing the UFC’s latest catchphrase, ”Whaddya gon’ do?” Photo via Getty.)

Of all the things that went so, so wrong for the UFC in 2014, the biggest positive that could be taken away was easily the promotion’s decision to begin drug-testing its athletes in house and year-round. As luck would have it, 2014 also went down as one of the druggiest years in MMA since the PRIDE days (allegedly). Random, out-of-competition drug testing was an expensive but necessary step forward and one that helped quell the near-constant questions regarding the legitimacy of the organization’s product. And it was working, dammit.

That was, until the UFC started farming out their drug testing to fly-by-night laboratories like the one that handled Cung Le’s sample. You know, the one which led to a 12-month suspension for the high-profile middleweight (that was quickly overturned) and played a huge role in Le’s request to be released of his contract as well as his class-action lawsuit against the UFC that followed? Yeah, that one.

Well put your minds at ease, Potato Nation, because the UFC’s short-lived attempt to run an out-of-competition drug testing program is over. HIP, HIP, HOORAY!!

Dana White broke the news during a media session on Thursday afternoon at the MGM Grand. Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter has the details:

“Our legal team completed screwed that up. We f—-d it up, and we will f–k it up again. That’s what the commission is there for,” he said.

White continued by saying that, while they have come to the realization that the promotion cannot oversee its own drug testing program, Zuffa will instead give more money to athletic commissions to help fund additional testing.

“What we’ll do is we’ll help fund it, so they can do more drug testing,” he said. “Our legal department screwed that whole thing up. We’ve got no business handling the regulation.”


The Hong Kong Lab That Handled Cung Le’s Drug Test Is Somewhat Less Than Legit

(“Tastes fine to me.” / Photo via Getty)

When the UFC suspended Cung Le for 12 months following a positive test result for excessive Human Growth Hormone, Le’s team immediately cast doubts on the UFC’s testing methods. Notably, his sample was sent to a non-WADA approved laboratory, and was destroyed afterwards. A new report from MMAJunkie reveals more information about the lab in question, which doesn’t sound like it would be anybody’s first choice to test the athletes of a major sports promotion. Here’s the important stuff:

The Hong Kong Functional Medical Testing Center (HKFMTC) resides in Hong Kong’s southern Yau Tsim Mong District, about an hour’s ferry ride from the Macau’s Cotai Arena where August’s UFC Fight Night 48 was held.

The company’s website offers to test your metabolic function, examine hair for heavy metals or nails for drugs of abuse, for example. It also offers a service called “autism medical testing.” The company opened its doors in February, according to an online records search, and recently put out a job posting for its marketing department.

Following the Aug. 23 event, a phlebotomist hired by the UFC took blood samples from headliners Cung Le and Michael Bisping immediately after their fight and shipped them to the HKFMTC, the promotion told MMAjunkie…It’s unclear how the HKFMTC tested the samples, and the UFC declined to answer any additional questions on the procedures used in connection with the event. On the drug testing firm’s website, there is no specific mention of testing for human growth hormone, though the company does offer a test of the endocrine system including “growth factor analysis.” It’s certain, though, that HKFMTC is not accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which sets guidelines used for HGH testing. The nearest WADA-accredited lab is in Beijing, a four-hour flight from Macau.


Cung Le and Michael Bisping to Undergo Enhanced Drug Testing; Le Defends His Suspiciously Jacked Physique

(Cung Le in November 2011, and Cung Le in August 2014. The only thing that hasn’t changed is his underwear.)

Over the weekend, UFC middleweight Cung Le posted a photo of himself flexing after an intense workout — and immediately raised the suspicions of armchair endocrinologists around the globe. Despite his athletic gifts, Le hasn’t always been the leanest or most muscular fighter out there; in fact, he’s looked rather soft at times, relatively speaking. But now, at the age of 42, he’s showing up looking this jacked? In a sport where aging veterans are getting popped for PEDs left and right, MMA fans were understandably dubious.

In an apparent response to the accusations being flung at Le, the UFC has announced that Cung Le and his opponent Michael Bisping will undergo enhanced drug testing for their UFC Fight Night 48 headlining bout this Saturday in Macau. The testing will be performed at the UFC’s expense, and will include blood-testing, which would theoretically identify non-steroid PEDs like human growth hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO).

Of course, we probably won’t get the results of these tests until weeks after the fact, which does absolutely nothing to prevent potential cheaters from competing. (I kind of agree with Mark Bocek here; if all these drug tests are timed so that big fights still get to proceed as scheduled, it doesn’t reflect well on the UFC’s priorities, or how serious they are about eradicating the PED epidemic.)

But it might be a moot point in this case, because Cung Le doesn’t plan on failing a drug test anytime soon…


CagePotato Ban: Saying You Don’t Care If Your Opponents Are Using PEDs

(Bagautinov’s doping wasn’t enough to earn him a victory — but that’s no reason to let him off the hook. / Photo via MMAJunkie)

Now that random drug testing is nailing MMA fighters on a regular basis, the truth is inescapable: PEDs have become the sport’s most urgent and embarrassing problem. But not every fighter is an anti-drug crusader like Tim Kennedy and Georges St. Pierre. Before his star-making beatdown of Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night 46 on Saturday, Conor McGregor told MMAJunkie how he really feels about performance-enhancing drugs:

“I don’t really care about that stupid s–t,” McGregor said. “I’m just doing my thing. I’m just performing and getting better. I don’t care what anyone else does….Take whatever you want, I’m still going to whoop your ass.”

His words were nearly identical to what former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson said about steroids last year, and also echoed those of UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who expressed similar sentiments on The MMA Hour recently, after it came out that his last opponent Ali Bagutinov was using EPO going into the fight:

“I don’t care if my opponents are cheating or not,” Johnson said. “I train my butt off to fight the man who is put in front of me whether he’s on steroids or not. I want to play on a level playing field, but if they knew about it beforehand and didn’t stop it, at the same time, I took care of business. No big deal.”

Except it is a big deal, and saying otherwise makes MMA look like a joke.

Look, I get it. Claiming that you don’t care if your opponents are doping scores you badass points, and it can endear you to the segment of the MMA fanbase that really doesn’t care about the ongoing scourge of PEDs. (“I like Conor because he doesn’t bitch about drug-testing like these other pussies. Let ‘em take what they want!” — Darryl T. Justbleedguy)