Update July 13,2016. Today Bellator released the below press release (HT Luke Thomas)
As first reported by MMAJunkie.com’s Steven Marrocco, Bellator has contracted with the Mohegan Department of Athletic Regulation to oversee drug testing when the promotion heads to London for Bellator 158.
Marrocco reports that “fighters will be tested via urine and will be licensed through the Mohegan commission, which could also subject them to future out-of-competition testing, the most effective deterrent to the use of banned substances“.
England does not have a government run mixed martial arts athletic commission leaving promoters to largely run events as they see fit. Bringing the MDAR on board to oversee drug testing is a step in the right direction although the decision also leaves some questions.
The MDAR lack any statutory or other jurisdiction in London so their authority to licence fighters in that jurisdiction, drug test fighters there and issue suspensions based on failed drug tests is based fully on private contracts.
The exact scope and nature of these contracts remains unclear. I have reached out to both Bellator and the MDAR for comment and if/when they release the details of the contracts and the scope of the program I will update this article with further details.