Thursday, May 1, 2014

Outside the Octagon: UFC's New Drug Program

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), who regulates combat sports in the state of Nevada, are now going to implement a more enhanced drug testing program.  This announcement comes a few months after the NSAC banned Testosterone Replacement Therapy.  This new drug testing program will begin for the upcoming UFC 173 on May 24th

The old drug testing policy involved only testing urine the day of the fight.  The new program will involve both urine and blood testing.  Fighters will also be randomly tested throughout their fight camp and not just the day of the fight.  This is the same program that the NSAC used for the Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley fight.  At UFC 172, there was an enhanced drug testing program but this was because Jon Jones requested it.  

Personally, I really like all of these new changes to the drug testing program.  In the past the UFC has only really tested for steroids, so adding the blood tests will help test for more illegal substances that can give a fighter an edge.  Many of the major sports have been trying to make their drug testing policies better so it is good to see that the UFC is trying to follow this trend. 

Another aspect of new drug testing that I like a lot is the random testing throughout the fighters’ camp.  If you know when the drug test is coming it is easy to find ways to pass and you will know when you need to stop taking the drug to get it out of your system.  I think this new system is going to catch a lot of fighters especially ones on the undercard who use to not be tested under the previous system.  

We will find out how successful this new system is over the next couple of months.  Like I previously stated, I think we will see an increase in fighters failing drug tests.  Only time will tell how much this new drug testing program will affect the UFC. 

 Greg Monforte is a Drexel University Sport Management pre-junior from South Jersey.  Currently he works at Not Just Pizza in Sicklerville, NJ and Daddis Fight Camps in Philadelphia where he has social media and marketing responsibilities.  Greg is also the SMTSU Director of Marketing & Outreach.  Follow Greg on Twitter @Greg_Monforte.
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