Earlier today UFC President Dana White, CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein held a press conference acknowledging the extent of the doping problem in elite MMA.
Fertitta acknowledged the need for overhaul. The high rate of out of competition drug test failures was contrasted with the lower in competition rate (when athletes know they will likely be tested and can cycle off prohibited substances) with the following damaging slide noting that the doping rate is “alarming”
They stated that, effective July 1, 2015, all UFC fighters will be subject to random performance-enhancing drug testing. This is a promise that was made before and then withdrawn, or at the very least delayed, with White stating “Our legal team completed screwed that up. We f—-d it up, and we will f–k it up again. That’s what the commission is there for”
Given the revolving door of doping busts in the sport, backing out of random out of competition testing is no longer an option for the world’s highest profile MMA organization . The UFC has used the right words in acknowledging a problem exists. Now the devil will be in the details to see that they follow through with a properly funded and meaningful year round program. The following basic template for the proposed enhanced testing program was laid out:
I will update this story as further details of the UFC’s anti doping program are revealed.
The audio of the full press conference can be found here