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Saturday, January 31, 2009
Mixed Martial Arts--- No Out-of-Competition Drug Testing for UFC 94 Fighters
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
The Nevada State Athletic Commission did not test any fighters on the UFC 94 card as part of its out-of-competition drug testing program.
In addition, there were no fighters subjected to the out-of-competition drug testing program who competed on the WEC event on December 3; or on the UFC events on December 13 or December 27. All four events took place in Nevada and fall under the NSAC's jurisdiction.
When asked on January 15 if any fighters on the January 31 card had been tested as part of the NSAC's out-of-competition drug testing program, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer replied, "Not yet."
When asked earlier this week, on January 28, if any fighters on the January 31 card had been tested as part of the NSAC's out-of-competition drug testing program, Kizer replied, "No."
The out-of-competition drug testing program allows the NSAC to order random drug tests at any time on any fighter that the NSAC licenses as a mixed martial artist, boxer, or kickboxer.
Like many other major sports, this out-of-competition drug testing is in addition to day-of-competition drug testing. The day-of-competition drug testing was still conducted at all of the aforementioned events and will be conducted at UFC 94 as well.
However, when athletes know the exact date of an upcoming drug test ahead of time, the testing is not going to catch very many users. There are numerous ways to mask banned substances if you have days, weeks, or in this case months of notice before a drug test.
Therefore, the out-of-competition drug testing program is a vital step towards detecting the use of banned substances during training camps.
A total of fourteen fighters (some boxers, some mixed martial artists) whose fights were scheduled between February 1, 2008 and October 31, 2008 were tested as part of the out-of-competition drug testing program, which was announced in January 2008.
In the weeks prior to UFC 91 in November, ten fighters were tested as part of the program, and all of them passed their tests.
Between November 15 and the end of January, there were four major MMA events scheduled in the state of Nevada: a WEC event on December 3, a UFC event on December 13, another UFC event on December 27, and another UFC event that will take place on January 31.
None of the fighters on these shows were tested as part of the out-of-competition drug testing program.
In other news related to the NSAC's out-of-competition drug testing program, The Ring Magazine Online recently reported that instead of having several hours to submit to a drug test from the time that they are notified that they need to take a drug test, fighters actually have two days to take an NSAC-ordered drug test.
The Ring's Mark Zeigler wrote, "Here's how it works: The commission contacts a licensed fighter, notifies him he has been selected for an out-of-competition test and provides instructions about locating the nearest accredited laboratory. The lab is also contacted, and the fighter has two days to show up, present photo identification and submit a urine test. Here's the problem: Two days is ample time for someone to flush their system of many banned substances."
The NSAC's Keith Kizer confirmed that fighters do have two days to take an out-of-competition drug test from the time that they are notified, but added that this is subject to change.