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Thread: UFC's Lorenzo Fertitta discusses new random drug testing efforts

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    Default UFC's Lorenzo Fertitta discusses new random drug testing efforts

    UFC's Lorenzo Fertitta discusses new random drug testing efforts
    "I think it's going to be something that continues to happen on a pretty regular basis going forward," UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told SI.com on Monday evening.

    Why is that for the fight promotion to determine rather than an athletic commission? It's a money matter. Enhanced testing costs more than state-funded sanctioning bodies can budget for on an ongoing basis. In both the Jones vs. Teixeira and Barnett vs. Browne random testing circumstances, the UFC had agreed to foot the bill.

    "We've always tried to do whatever we can to embrace and encourage the commissions to test as much as they possibly can," said Fertitta. "Unfortunately for most commissions, they're restrained from a budgetary standpoint. They just don't have the resources to handle random testing because there's a lot more that goes into how it's done. In order for the program to be successful, it truly needs to be random and it needs to be pretty in-depth."

    For a promotion that is hurting for top-tier talent at the moment, with four of its champions injured and another off making a movie, enhanced testing comes at a risk. The UFC's professed desire for a cleaned-up sport has to be tempered by the sobering possibility that at some point a big fight might be jettisoned by a failed drug test. In light of that and other potential conflicts of interest one might see in a promotion funding a commission's procedure, Fertitta was quick to stress that, beyond this planning stage, the UFC's involvement in enhanced testing will be only in writing the checks.

    "We have nothing to do with the testing other than they send us a bill to pay for it. That's it," he said. "It's all done third party, all done the right way. They get the results sent directly to them and then they deal with the situation, the fighter. It's out of our hands."

    Fertitta also deflects any suggestion that this sudden introduction of enhanced testing is the UFC's response to recent criticism by former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who has said that a primary reason he stepped away from the sport was a lack of a stringent program to detect PEDs. Although company president Dana White has repeatedly insisted that St-Pierre never brought up drug testing when he sat down with White and Fertitta shortly after announcing his sabbatical, Fertitta acknowledged that the matter was part of their discussion.

    "We had a very, very good conversation about what his concerns were," said the executive. "We kind of got all of that out on the table." Fertitta told St-Pierre that the UFC already was working with commissions on creating an enhanced testing program. "I think it was pretty clear to him, hopefully, that we embrace it," he said. "We want to make sure that we have the highest standard of any sport. So I think we're on the same page as Georges."

    What does that page look like, exactly? Fertitta had no details to offer on how the UFC will proceed from here. "We're trying to work with various commissions now to figure out how we can put systems in place to ensure that all of these guys are tested," he said. "Tested randomly, tested out of competition, in competition, every which way they can be."

    Fertitta would not even specify what he meant by "all of these guys." Will the promotion seek to have just the participants in every championship fight randomly tested? Or will the enhanced program extend even beyond that to, say, the main eventers on every card? "Sometimes these things take a little time to actually get put in place where you can effectively manage it," he said. "Sometimes the media just wants everything to happen yesterday. We're doing it. It's all starting to happen now."
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    Dana White on drug testing changes: 'We're testing the whole card now'
    "As far as testing, what we used to do is we used to roll into town and the title fight always got tested, and there was random testing," White said. "We're testing the whole card now. The whole card is getting tested. Everyone is getting tested."

    The new policy is clearly a work in progress, as White could not give specifics on how and when the new policy will be implemented, much as Feritta demurred with SI on the subject of random testing. But White says that taking drug testing to the next level is the only way to ensure the sport's future growth.

    "Obviously, doing away with performance-enhancing drugs not only helps us run our business, but it also helps the fighters," White said. "If you can make sure you take a hard enough stance and you can keep these young, talented kids off these drugs, their careers are going to last longer. Once all the kids realize there is a level playing field, you have these guys paranoid, ‘I know this guy is using, I know he is, I have to fight this guy and he's on it, so maybe I should do it too' once we can eliminate all that it's going to make the sport a lot better for everybody, them and us."

    Meanwhile, White reiterated that he's pleased with this year's commission developments regarding exemptions testosterone replacement therapy. Nevada banned therapeutic use exemptions earlier in the year and California has in effect followed suit.

    "I'm so f--- glad it's gone," White said. "Because we're still dealing with, you gotta get Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen licensed in Nevada. And Vitor [Belfort]. All need to get licensed in Nevada. Now the question becomes, because they were on it, their [testosterone to epitestosterone] ratios are still going up, even though their levels are down, and I'm like, ‘are you f--- kidding me?' They're done, it's over, and we still can't figure it out? I'm so happy TRT is gone. It's confusing, nobody understands it. Not even the doctors, the doctors don't understand it. If you talk to three, they have three different answers on it. I'm glad it's gone."
    And if you want beef, then bring the ruckus

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    Stann: Drug-testing issues 'major part' of why I retired
    Brian Stann retired last year following consecutive losses and losing three of his four bouts. Stann is only thirty three and had been fighting professional for seven years, but part of his decision had to do with drug testing issues and not just his losses:

    "It was a major part of me walking away from the sport," Stann said. "Knowing that I wasn't getting a fair shake played a big part, for sure."

    Stann, who is now a FOX analyst and will be in the studio for FOX UFC Saturday, said he has a meeting with Travis Tygart, the CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, and Robert Bennett, the new executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, next week. Like St-Pierre, Stann is tangibly trying to help clean up the sport.

    "If all you're doing is testing night of the fight, [fighters] got to be stupid to get caught," Stann said.

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    Video: Dana White tells ESPN SportsNation that 'PEDs have been cleaned up in UFC'
    http://www.mmamania.com/2014/4/24/56...ned-up-ufc-mma
    "PEDs have been cleaned up in the UFC. What people don't realize is that the rule used to be that when commissions would test athletes they'd do the main event, and they'd have a couple of random tests. We've been testing everybody on the cards. Everybody's been getting tested. It's been a long time since somebody had tested positive for PEDs. The TRT thing was a nightmare for me and thank God the commission got rid of it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana White View Post
    PEDs have been cleaned up in the UFC.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sick_Lunatic View Post
    I've always liked strudel.



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    Although company president Dana White has repeatedly insisted that St-Pierre never brought up drug testing when he sat down with White and Fertitta shortly after announcing his sabbatical, Fertitta acknowledged that the matter was part of their discussion.

    "We had a very, very good conversation about what his concerns were," said the executive.
    So this is the time of year where I have to write evaluations for my employees, and I have to tell you I kind of hate supervising in general, but I'd really, utterly hate it if I had someone like dana to manage.

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    Nevada commission looks to employ company that could trim enhanced drug testing costs

    The commission plans to discuss the use of the Missouri-based National Center for Drug Free Sport during a meeting next Tuesday, May 13, in Las Vegas. If approved, the company could be used for July’s UFC 175 event.

    NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar today told MMAjunkie that the National Center for Drug Free Sport uses a network of independent test collectors that could cut the current price tag of enhanced testing for a single bout by $20,000, though he added a fighter’s location is a big variable in cost.

    “We’re just exploring all our options at this point to find a more cost effective way to do this,” Aguilar said.

    Earlier this month, UFC executive Lorenzo Fertitta told MMAjunkie that the previously quoted cost of enhanced testing – $45,000 per fight – would limit the amount the promotion could bankroll for commissions such as the NSAC.
    And if you want beef, then bring the ruckus

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