The UFC has announced a new drug screening policy – now, before fighters are signed to a UFC or Strikeforce contract they will have to pass a pre-screening for Performance Enhancing Drugs. This comes on the heels of multiple black eyes to the sport in the past several months, starting with Chris Leben and then ‘Cyborg’ Santos and ‘King’ Mo Lawal all failing to pass the post fight drug tests. What is the first clue that the screening is a joke? Well the first sign for me was they announced it! Makes for nice publicity, but TELLING the athletes your going to do a test is like putting nuclear power plant specifications on the internet.
So let’s make up a scenario. I’m a fighter who dabbles with PEDs, because they make me feel stronger when I fight. I’m on the smaller fight circuit, and I have a nice 12-1 record and there is a buzz that the UFC might call. When they do, I’m going to stop doing what I do until I can pass the test. If I’m mid cycle, I would avoid the test, perhaps state a hamstring injury is going to have me sidelined a month while I clean up.
Keeping it a secret and instituting a pre -screen would have potentially caught a few people and given the UFC a few examples to be made. Instead, they tell the world exactly what to prepare for. If the entire history of mankind and competition is any precedent, what they did has no effect whatsoever on the non-user, and the user now has the ability to plan against the procedure.
And once your on a UFC contract, there is no random screening except that done around the fights? So let’s say a guy has broken thru and made it to the bigger money in MMA. This athlete now has money and may have resources to actually not clean up, but look into beating the tests. Remember what happened in baseball – in general, there were labs producing PEDs that were specifically engineered to not come up on a screening.
What the UFC has done is nothing more than a publicity stunt to associate themselves with the ‘good’ guys in this whole PED debate, they don’t really care whether the athletes do this stuff or not. Just don’t let it affect their bottom line.