The UFC unveiled a new anti-doping policy that gives the organization the most comprehensive testing, and most drastic punishments, in all of professional sports.
“You can seriously injure someone or kill someone,” UFC President Dana White reasons of steroids in mixed-martial arts (MMA). “It’s a lot different than baseball.”
The UFC has employed the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to conduct the testing independent from the UFC and the various local regulatory bodies. USADA President Edwin Moses, the best hurdler in track and field history, said that rather than a violation of the rights of athletes the testing represented a means to “protect the rights of clean athletes.”
Punishments include two-year suspensions for first-time performance-enhancing-drug (PED) offenders that possibly could expand to four years with aggravating circumstances, four-year suspensions that could possibly double for second-time offenders, and lifetime bans for fighters caught a third time.
“We’re hopeful that there is a strong enough deterrent,” UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta explained.
The program goes into effect on July 1. The tests for performance-enhancing drugs will be held at random in or out of competition by USADA.
Fighters popping positive for recreational drugs during in-competition periods face an automatic one-year ban.
On the conference call Breitbart Sports asked the UFC brass that given the inclusion of recreational drugs in the policy whether the organization also plans to compel Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, Joe Rogan, and other non-fighters employed by the brand to undergo drug testing akin to the NFL screening Roger Goodell for illegal narcotics.
“You can test me, too,” Dana White volunteered, with a colleague noting he might fail a test that screens for whiskey. The UFC honchos expressed a willingness to urinate in a cup on command but avoided addressing their formal exclusion or inclusion in testing programs that they impose on their athletes for marijuana and other recreational drugs.
Jon Jones and Nick Diaz allegedly testing positive for recreational drugs, and Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen, and Hector Lombard allegedly violating bans on performance-enhancing drugs, precipitated the crackdown.
UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta, divulging that the strict program will cost the UFC millions annually, concludes: “If you’re using drugs, you’re going to get caught.”