UFC Drug Policy Being Put to the Test

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bill-swift - April 5, 2012

There is no doubt about it—the UFC is here to stay. Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has the popular mixed martial arts company primed and ready to take over the world.

But only if he can get his product under control.

On March 31, 2012, the company officially began a new drug testing policy, random blood testing with zero tolerance. Too many fighters have tested positive for steroids and other PEDs. If there is any doubt as to what it means, Muhammed Lawal—otherwise known as King Mo—was let go from Strikeforce and saw his license suspended for a failed test in January.

Dana White put it best when he stated," We have been dealing with this expletive for a long time, man. It's time these guys get their expletive together and fight fair."

The real test will come when one of the UFC's major stars tests negative, and it appears like that test is coming now. Alistair Overeem, who is tentatively scheduled to face heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, at UFC 146 on May 26 in Las Vegas has failed a drug test.

On March 27 Overeem, dos Santos, Cain Velasquez, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, and Antonio Silva were all chosen to be tested after a news conference. Overeem is the only one to fail the test.

According to the World and United States Anti-Doping Agencies when the testosterone –to-epitestosterone ratio is over 4-1 it's a positive test. In Nevada, where UFC 146 is going to be held, 6-1 is considered the cutoff. Overeem's ratio was well above 10-1.

The politics on this could get a little dicey. Since Overeem is not licensed in Nevada he is not subject to punishment, but if he is going to fight there he will need to be able to prove that the test is either invalid or that there is a natural reason his results were as high as they were.

What White does next will be pretty important for the future of the UFC. If he sticks to his guns than Overeem is done, but does he really want to cut one of the organization's best? If he doesn't cut him than the legitimacy of the competition will be forever under question.

UFC 146 is expected to be one of-if not the biggest—sporting event of the year with five heavyweight fights on the main card. Now White will be faced with making a tough decision. How zero is his zero tolerance policy going to be?

Article by Travis Pulver

Tagged in: sports , ufc ,

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