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Friday, March 23, 2007
Mixed Martial Arts--- UFC Fighters Pass Drug Tests; Plus the Recent History of MMA Drug Testing
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
The drug test results have come back from UFC 68, and all of the fighters who were tested at the event tested negative for banned substances.
The Ohio Athletic Commission tested for steroids and recreational drugs at the event in Columbus, Ohio on March 3rd, although only four of the eighteen fighters on the card were tested.
The four fighters who were drug tested were Randy Couture, Tim Sylvia, Jon Fitch, and Luigi Fioravanti. All of those fighters' urine samples came back negative for all banned substances. The remaining fourteen fighters on the card were not drug tested.
This marks the second consecutive UFC event on which none of the fighters failed their drug tests. At UFC 67, which took place in Las Vegas on February 3rd, eight of the eighteen fighters on the card were drug tested and all of them passed their tests. Those eight fighters were Anderson Silva, Travis Lutter, Mirko Cro Cop, Eddie Sanchez, Quinton Jackson, Marvin Eastman, Ryoto Machida, and Sam Hoger.
At UFC 66, which took place in Las Vegas on December 30th, six of the eighteen fighters on the card were drug tested. Five of those fighters passed their drug tests: Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, Forrest Griffin, and Tony DeSouza. However, the banned diuretic Spironolactone was detected in the urine sample of the sixth fighter who was tested, Thiago Alves, and Alves was suspended for eight months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Prior to Alves' failed drug test, the last time that a UFC fighter had tested positive for banned substances was when Stephan Bonnar tested positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone at UFC 62 on August 26, 2006. Bonnar was suspended for nine months by the NSAC.
Drug testing is the responsibility of the state athletic commissions, not the responsibility of the UFC, Pride, or any other specific MMA promotion. However, in the cases of big promotions like Zuffa or Dream Stage Entertainment, they could easily afford to pay for every fighter to be drug tested on every card with the revenue generated from less than 100 tickets sold.
At Pride's first event in the United States, which took place in Las Vegas on October 21st of last year, ten of the sixteen fighters on the card were drug tested. The fighters who were drug tested and passed their tests were Fedor Emelianenko, Mark Coleman, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Josh Barnett, Dan Henderson, Phil Baroni, and Yosuke Nishijima. However, three fighters on the card failed their drug tests: Vitor Belfort, Pawel Nastula, and Kevin Randleman.
Belfort tested positive for the anabolic steroid 4-hydroxytestosterone and was suspended for nine months by the NSAC. Nastula tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone and also for the banned stimulants phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine, and ephedrine; Nastula was suspended by the NSAC for nine months.
Randleman admitted to submitting a fake urine sample due to the large amount of painkillers and antibiotics that he was taking at the time, as well as the fact that he had a potentially life-threatening lung infection. At a discplinary hearing last month, the NSAC revoked Randleman's license as a fighter. In addition to passing a drug test, Randleman will have to personally appear in front of the NSAC and provide medical evidence that he is completely healthy before he can fight again, and he is not eligible to do so until at least October 2007.
At Pride's second event in the United States, which took place in Las Vegas on February 24th, ten of the eighteen fighters on the card were drug tested. The fighters who were drug tested and passed their tests were Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, Takanori Gomi, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Alistair Overeem, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Joachim Hansen, and Jason Ireland. However, Nick Diaz tested positive for marijuana. Diaz has not yet had his Nevada State Athletic Commission disciplinary hearing.
At the first Zuffa-owned WEC event in Las Vegas on January 20th, six of the eighteen fighters on the card were drug tested: Urijah Faber, Joe Pearson, Rob McCullough, Kit Cope, Rich Crunkilton, and Mike Joy. Faber, McCullough, Crunkilton, and Joy passed all of their drug tests. However, Cope tested positive for the illegal anabolic steroid Boldenone, and Pearson tested positive for the active ingredient in marijuana. Cope and Pearson have not yet had their NSAC disciplinary hearings.