Why The Money Defence May Be Off The Table For Athletic Commission Liability

In my recent posts addressing Athletic Commission liability for negligent PED testing standards (archived here and here) I highlight that frequent out of competition blood tests would be the gold standard for weeding out cheats in combat sports.  One defense commissions may have if ever on the wrong end of a lawsuit would be to point to the cost of implementing such tests.  The cost / benefit analysis is something a court can look at in negligence litigation in deciding whether the standard of care has been met.

But what if cost was not a factor?  Then there would be no excuse for failing to implement meaningful PED testing standards as opposed to those filled with “obvious and glaring weaknesses“.  This appears to now be the case for the Nevada State Athletic Commission when it comes to UFC events.

Yahoo Sports reports that the UFC “has told commissions that it would pay to have any fighter it has under contract tested at any time.”

More importantly, this has been verified by the NSAC with Yahoo Sports further reporting:

Yahoo Sports contacted Francisco Aguilar, the new chairman of the Nevada Athletic Commission, who said Fertitta had indeed made such an offer.

“The UFC has been phenomenal to work with in regard to the enhanced testing of the athletes we’re looking to do,” Aguilar said. “All that has ever been communicated to us from Lorenzo, Lawrence [Epstein, the UFC’s chief operating office] and Marc [Ratner, its vice president of regulatory affairs] is that they’re in favor of testing. At no point has the UFC ever pushed back on any testing request we’ve made. We just did an enhanced testing program with Travis Browne and Josh Barnett for their fight [in December at UFC 168] and the UFC was fully supportive and did what we asked.

“Not only haven’t they pushed back, they’ve been the opposite. They’ve told us they’ve been open to any and all testing and would gladly pay for whatever tests we wanted to do.”

The NSAC has the ability to test any licence holder both in and out of competition.  If the licence holder is under UFC contract then the cost to the NSAC will be $0.  The ball is now in their court to clean up doping.  Failing to do so is harmful for competitors and the sport and the road to legal liability is that much smoother with the above admissions coming to light.

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