UFC President Dana White stated to reporters at the UFC 182 media day session that the organization has cut its announced plans for in-house, year-round drug testing for fighters. As reported by MMA Junkie, The UFC drafted up plans for the program in August. The organization contacted several independent testing agencies that could help the UFC provide year-round testing for the entire fighter roster.
White States: “What we’ll do is we’ll help fund it so they can do better drug testing, more drug testing,” he said. “They can handle it. They’re the regulators.”
Instead of overseeing its own program, the organization will direct funds to state athletic commissions. The regulatory bodies can then oversee additional testing, which White does not believe the UFC is suited for. At the media day, he specifically mentioned Cung Le’s drug testing debacle following Fight Night Macao. Le was suspended for a year after Fight Night 48 for testing over the acceptable limit for HGH. Cung Le appealed the suspension, which the UFC ultimately threw out following the questionable legitimacy of the test and facility.
“Our legal team completely screwed that thing up,” White said. ” … We have no business doing drug testing. We f***** it up, and we will f*** it up again. That’s what the commission is there to do.”
Cung Le has since requested release from his UFC contract and has been named as one of the three primary plaintiffs in the Antitrust class-action lawsuit against the UFC. The costs of professional drug testing are high, but it appears that the costs of an inaccurate test have proven to be even higher.
How do you think this change will affect athlete testing in the UFC? Even with the UFC’s help, do most state commissions have the resources for effective PED testing?