M-1 held a press conference in Russia yesterday to push their next M-1 Challenge show and Fedor’s participation in the Strikeforce Grand Prix. I’ve always said there’s no better way to promote an event than to raise the specter of steroids, so here’s M-1 head honcho Vadim Finklestein doing just that:
“Two out of eight fighters in the tournament previously failed a drug test. Obviously, I’m talking about Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva. We want fair competition for everyone, so that’s why I will ask the commission to perform a strict drug testing. Fedor is not using any kind of substance to enhance his performance, and will be ready for any kind of testing. So if the commission decides to follow our suggestion, we’ll be ready.”
“Our organization paid a heavy price after the cancellation of the fight between Josh Barnett and Fedor. We did a lot of promotion for this fight, which in the end did not take place. That’s why as a promoter and manager, I don’t want this to happen ever again.”
Note: Vadim Finkelstein was asked about Olympic Drug Testing, but never used the term in his answer. In an interview to Sports.ru, Finkelstein says the main goal is to ensure a fair competition for Fedor, and not to push for some sort of specific testing.
The end part is reassuring – I want to put a gun in my mouth and blow the brains out the back of my skull every time someone in MMA demands ‘Olympic Drug Testing.’
There’s still a bit of a problem, though: there’s not really any ‘strict’ drug testing – there’s the crappy piss test the commissions do, and you take it or leave it. I suppose Nevada and California are capable of random testing (not like they use it much). But ironically, the participation of MMA’s most steroidy man (Monsieur Josh Barnett) means you won’t be seeing events in these regions.
So basically we have to hope that this talk was just Vadim not so subtly firing cheating accusations at other GP participants. If it’s any more than that, it’ll be really fun when it’s time for Fedor to face Josh Barnett or Alistair ‘Steroid Bully’ Overeem.