It is no secret that PED abuse exists in the world of elite sports and MMA is no exception. Recent developments are shining a spotlight on this topic and the question is will this become a crisis for the sport or an opportunity.
It all started with Georges St. Pierre volunteering for enhanced testing above and beyond the minimal standards of Athletic Commissions. It ended in a dysfunctional mess with a rift between GSP, his upcoming opponent, the UFC and the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Now, LaPress.ca reports that GSP is voicing displeasure with the UFC’s lack of support of his enhanced testing efforts. He is quoted (with the help of Google translate) as follows:
- “There are things I can not say. I do not want to get back to the UFC because it is my employer. However, I do not take journalists for idiots. They are able to read between the lines. They are able to see what happens. “
- “There Doping in my sport, do not be fooled,”
- “It bothers me a little fight against guys who use performance-enhancing drugs, because it is not fair. It’s a nasty difference in training, argues Georges St-Pierre. There are those who say: “Doping, it does not bother me.” Me, it bothers me. But I’ll do it anyway, the fight. Without accusing anyone, if there are some who do not want to do the tests, I’ll do the fighting. It will not be the first time. But it’s just that I’m getting a little tired. “
This rift between the sport’s highest profile athlete and the world’s top promotion may turn ugly. It does not have to, however. The sport’s long term interests depend on continued inroads into the mainstream sports market. Being clouded in potential PED scandals does not help this end. Addressing PED abuse, on the other hand, is in everyone’s interests. GSP and the UFC should work together and use this opportunity to implement some sensible reforms to address the PED situation. Weeding out PED abuse will not only enhance participant safety but also assist with mainstream acceptance of the sport helping fuel its long term growth, turning this potential dark cloud into a win-win situation.