09-14-2012, 03:34 PM
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| | St-Pierre, Condit on board for additional UFC 154 testing but yet to agree on agency
St-Pierre, Condit on board for additional UFC 154 testing but yet to agree on agency
St-Pierre, Condit on board for additional UFC 154 testing but yet to agree on agency | MMAjunkie.com
At this moment, additional drug testing for UFC 154's headliner is no more than a nice idea. |
Returning welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre and interim champ Carlos Condit have signaled they are open to the type of testing that agencies such as USADA and VADA could offer, but neither have gone beyond that point, reps for both fighters today told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com).
If the two agree additional testing is needed, there may be an issue as to who conducts it for the Nov. 17 fight, which takes place at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, and airs live on pay-per-view.
Of course, St-Pierre and Condit are already due to be tested following their fight by an independent lab hired by the UFC. But with Olympic-style testing a hot topic among observers and industry experts that believe its the only way to stamp out performance-enhancer use in MMA, independent agencies have entered the conversation when it comes to big fights.
VADA, which stands for the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, is a not-for-profit group that's recently emerged as a champion of out-of-competition testing. Headed by former Nevada State Athletic Commission chief ringside physician Margaret Goodman, its most public advocate is Victor Conte, who went to prison for his role in the BALCO doping scandal but later emerged as a voice for more stringent drug testing.
Condit's camp instead favors the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which has provided drug testing for the Olympics since 2000 and also works with boxer Floyd Mayweather. Conte has criticized the agency as not being thorough enough in its testing protocols.
"I've always said the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is the most reliable, credible and reputable drug testing agency in the world," said John Fuller, publicist for Condit and First Round Management. "There's not a question about that. VADA, while I'm sure provides strong services in the drug testing world, they have certain relationships that would throw up red flags from our end.
"If we're going to go into something as extensive as drug testing for a fight, I think we need to be as careful and cautious as we possibly can about who's working within that organization and who's working around that organization."
St-Pierre trainer Firas Zahabi said the welterweight champ welcomes the chance to prove himself a clean athlete, if for no other reason than to quiet critics who have speculated he's used performance-enhancing drugs.
"This is the a chance for him to show everybody," Zahabi said. "Georges will do it."
But he was unclear on the cost of such a program and suggested that one of the agencies should sponsor testing, as VADA did for a fight between Rory MacDonald and ex-champ B.J. Penn that's now scheduled for UFC on FOX 5.
"I think it will help clean up our sport," Zahabi said. "Now it's up to VADA or another group to sponsor the fight."
Fuller, who once worked as a publicist for the U.S. Olympic Committee, said Condit's camp is open to a sit-down with St-Pierre's camp to discuss the possibility of using USADA. Someone just needs to take the first step.
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