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Tag: UFC drug testing

UFC Planning to Implement Random, Enhanced Drug Testing for All Fighters


(Until now, the UFC has mainly relied on the “screenshot comparison” method.)

In the wake of some high-profile UFC drug-test failures for performance enhancers like HGH and EPO this year — as well as a resurgence in positive tests for old-school steroids — the UFC has announced plans to implement random, out-of-competition drug testing for all of its fighters. ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto broke the news last night.

Until now, UFC brass has claimed that the expense of such a program would be prohibitive, and the promotion has left much of the drug-testing responsibility in the hands of local athletic commissions, only supporting random testing on an occasional basis. But with the PED epidemic growing worse in MMA, the sport’s leading promotion will be making the financial investment necessary to combat the problem, and UFC officials hope to have the new drug-screening system in place by the end of the year. From the ESPN report:

According to UFC vice president of regulatory affairs Marc Ratner, the promotion is in discussion with “four to five” independent drug-testing agencies and is hopeful to officially partner with one by the end of 2014.

The end goal is unannounced, year-round blood and urine tests on the UFC’s stable of approximately 500 athletes using an independent sample collector.

“We are meeting with different companies right now and we’re going to have out-of-competition testing,” Ratner told ESPN.com. “We’re not sure when it’s going to start, but we’re working on it right now.

“Unannounced blood and urine is going to happen, hopefully in the next three or four months. When you’re talking about 500 fighters, there are a lot of logistics. Having fighters in foreign countries makes it tougher, but we’re coming up with a plan and (agencies) are making proposals to us in the next two weeks”…

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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…

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Wednesday Links: Tito Ortiz Gets Probation for DUI, Lawler vs. Ellenberger Subject to Enhanced Drug Testing, Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos + More


(Gervinho: The lovechild of Tyra Banks and Klingon Worf. Check out more awful soccer hairstyles at HolyTaco.com.)

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Jon Jones Isn’t Saying Glover Teixeira Is a Steroid-User…But Why Take Any Chances?


(Jones is so committed to clean competition that he carries a bottle of fresh, hot urine with him at all times. / Photo via Getty)

Earlier this month, Jon Jones revealed to FOX Sports that he requested random drug-testing for himself and Glover Teixeira in advance of their light-heavyweight title fight at UFC 172 (April 26th, Baltimore). At the time, it seemed like Jones was taking up the Anti-PED Superhero mantle from Georges St-Pierre.

“It was something me and my management team asked for several months ago,” Jones said. “We thought it would be great to make sure everyone was playing fair in this fight. I’m not accusing my opponent of anything, but it’d just be great to see. [The Maryland State Athletic Commission] said they would need the UFC to approve it, the UFC approved it and paid for the whole thing and they never told me or Glover when our tests would come…

“I just think it’d be great to know that the athletes that are competing are competing clean,” Jones said. “I’ve never taken any kind of performance-enhancing drug and I don’t think any of my opponents should. I know that I’ve probably fought people in the past that have, and I’ve still come up with a way to win, but I just think it’s important that it goes away.

“I want our sport to be a clean sport. I want athletes to have pride and hard work and that’s why I thought I would put my money where my mouth is and get the test for myself. I have no right to accuse [Teixeira] of being on anything,” Jones said. “I know when people get chances to fight for world titles maybe they’ll do anything to get an edge, and I think the only edge you should have is work ethic so I thought we should both get tested.”

Now, in a follow-up interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Jones explained what really motivated him to request enhanced testing for this fight, and it has nothing to do with any lofty goals of cleaning up the sport. Basically, Glover Teixeira is 34 years old, he’s strong as an ox, and Jones finds that kind of suspicious:

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Friday Links: The Best UFC Fight Night Abu Dhabi Knockouts (So Far), UFC Expands Drug-Testing Policy, The Most Florida Moments in Florida History + More


(This might be the smoothest “look low, kick high” knockout we’ve ever seen. / Props: MiddleEasy)

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Why the Current PED Testing Policies in MMA Are Bad for the Sport


(My advice? Put on this song, hold each other tight, and remember why you fell in the love in the first place. / Photo via @lorenzofertitta)

By Jon Mariani

Responding to Georges St-Pierre’s news-making claim that the UFC didn’t support him when he did VADA drug-testing for UFC 167, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told Yahoo!, “It was extremely disappointing to hear Georges make those comments because I don’t think any organization has embraced drug testing as we have.”

Fertitta also went on to state in an interview with ESPN, “Maybe Georges didn’t understand the level of drug testing Nevada was doing. They are the ultimate authority that handles drug testing, medicals and everything else — and they are very capable.”

The first problem with Fertitta’s statement is that the UFC didn’t exactly embrace drug-testing when GSP tried to bring VADA into the mix. As UFC President Dana White stated, “It’s a little weird,” that St-Pierre wanted the enhanced testing. White went on to say that “He doesn’t have to do it, but I guess he wants to do it. What are you gonna do? Knock yourself out, Georges. Good luck.”

Clearly, that’s not the kind of “support” St-Pierre was looking for.

The larger problem is that when Fertitta says “they are very capable,” referring to Nevada’s athletic commission and drug-testing standards, it couldn’t be further from the truth. The current testing employed in Nevada is a joke, and here’s why…

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Georges St-Pierre Blasts the UFC for Lack of Drug-Testing Support; Lorenzo Fertitta ‘Disappointed’ By Comments


(The UFC’s French-Canadian company-man has officially left the building. / Photo via Getty)

During a media appearance in Montreal yesterday, former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was uncharacteristically candid about his motivations for stepping away from the sport, and how he felt about the UFC not supporting him when he attempted to arrange enhanced drug-testing prior to his UFC 167 title fight against Johny Hendricks.

“It bothered me enormously,” St-Pierre said (in a translation by MMAFighting.com). “That’s one of the reasons why I stopped fighting. Not really to teach them a lesson, because that would also punish me. I wanted to do something for the sport. I love the sport. I see the direction it’s going, and I don’t think it makes any sense. This is stupid.”

“I tried to do something to change the sport,” St-Pierre continued. “Unfortunately, there were other people, for different reasons, maybe for money, in fear of losing money, because if you canceled the fight because someone tested positive there are millions of dollars [lost]. Also, the sport’s image…If you start testing everyone, how many will get caught? I don’t want to say in public because I don’t want to accuse anyone, but the sport’s image will be hurt. Don’t forget, I have internal information. I’m an athlete. I know what goes on, so that disappointed me greatly.”

Later, St-Pierre described the UFC as a “monopoly,” and suggested that he wouldn’t return to competition until the promotion’s drug-testing policy was improved:

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Amazingly, Every Fighter at ‘UFC Fight Night 29′ Managed to Pass His Drug Test


(In retrospect, maybe these guys could have *used* a little steroids. / Photo via Getty)

On the main card alone, last week’s UFC Fight Night 29 event featured a guy who previously pissed dirty for steroids (Joey Beltran), a fake-urine submitting pot smoker (Thiago Silva), one of the UFC’s many “elevated testosterone” violators (Rousimar Palhares), and a guy who failed a drug test for undisclosed reasons, so we’re just going to assume it was weed (Jake Shields). We’ve been waiting for the card’s drug test results with baited breath, and to our surprise, it looks like everybody’s in the clear. As MMAFighting reports:

All 20 UFC Fight Night 29 fighters passed their drug tests. Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) tested every fighter before their bouts on Oct. 9 in Barueri, Brazil. After the bouts, the headliners – Demian Maia and Jake Shields – were tested again, in addition to four other randomly selected fighters…all results came back negative.”

This is especially good news for Thiago Silva, who has had two of his last four UFC wins knocked down to no-contests, and is now riding his first legitimate win streak since 2007-2008. Of course, Silva missed weight by three pounds for his UFC Fight Night 29 bout against Matt Hamill, so I guess we should put an asterisk next to that win as well, but still, it’s progress.

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Pat Healy Tests Positive for Marijuana After UFC 159, Stripped of Win Over Jim Miller and $135,000 in Bonuses [UPDATED]


(Short version: We’re going to pretend this fight never happened, just like we’re going to pretend marijuana is a performance-enhancing drug. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

The greatest night of Pat Healy‘s career has been retroactively changed to some old bullshit. Following his fantastic rear-naked choke victory over Jim Miller last month at UFC 159 — which earned Healy Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night awards totaling $130,000 — “Bam Bam” failed his drug test, coming up positive for marijuana. As a result, Healy’s win has been changed to a no-contest, he’s been suspended from competition from 90 days, and he’s being forced to return the aforementioned $130k in bonus money and his $5,000 win bonus.

Healy confirmed the news in an official statement:

I would like to start off by apologizing to the UFC, Jim Miller, the MMA community, it’s fans, my family, teammates and coaches for my positive testing for marijuana after my UFC 159 fight with Jim Miller. I was fully aware of the UFC and State Commission’s drug policies and made poor life choices. I stand behind the UFC and the State Commission’s disciplinary actions. I support efforts to make MMA and sports a clean, safe and fair place to compete…

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(Fortunately, Michael Jackson was able to shake his “hard-partying ladies man” image. / Check out even more WTF-worthy celebrity photos at WorldWideInterweb)

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