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Steroid testing is good

Normally I agree with everything Michael Rome says … in fact, for a while I was paranoid that Michael Rome was actually just a Tyler Durden type character that existed in my subconscious who blogged for Bloody Elbow while I was ‘asleep’. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, since we completely disagree regarding how the NSAC is handling steroid testing. Here’s his take:

NSAC is a branch of the Nevada state government, meaning the government is conducting drug testing completely at random without any probable cause (“being a fighter” is not probable cause).

I’m shocked to see writers across the MMA spectrum approve of this gross abuse of basic rights.   Everyone justifies this because it is for the fighters own good, a rationale that is generally used to justify any oppressive government tactic.   Is there anybody out there willing to fight for the fighters?   From random testing to the presumption of guilt upon a positive test, the entire system is completely bogus and one-sided.

Up here in Canada it’s illegal for your employers to ask for a drug test, except for jobs where you being high could possibly hurt others. And that’s the case here with this testing … it’s not in place to protect a fighter from himself, it’s to protect his opponent. Steroids are an unfair advantage, and without an effective system of policing them you’ve got a situation where users literally get an edge on beating the shit out of the guys they’re fighting.

It’s not a case of hitting more home runs or riding a bike faster. These are two guys engaged in combat, where they’re punching and kicking and doing all sorts of other things to eachother. I see Rome’s point … the government drug testing people is spooky shit, and one more step down the road to 1984. But this kinda testing has been going on with athletes for a long time, and it’s actually kinda overdue in the sport of MMA, where steroids don’t just give one guy an advantage, but can result in another guy being hurt badly.

  • Dan says:

    Rome’s an idiot. You don’t need probable cause or anything of the like to drug test fighters. The fighters are availing themselves of the rules and regulations of the NSAC when they obtain a license from them to engaged in unarmed combat in the state. No one says that you have to get into a cage and pummel another individual in the State of Nevada. But for the right to do so, you have to follow the rules and regulations that the state has implemented, much like one must do when one obtains a driver’s license from a state. Further, Rome seems to be overlooking a huge issue here: that this policy is in place for the safety of the fighters and the preservation of fair competition. The fighters aren’t being punished for taking steroids, so much as they are being protected from those who are.

  • cyph says:

    Basic rights? The fighters are professionals who are licensed to perform certain duties by a government agency, not just merely private citizens. Privacy advocates need to be able to differentiate between the two.

    If the NSAC force steroid testing on random people in a backyard fight, then Rome’s got a point. It was a poorly thought-out rant on his part.

  • Jemaleddin says:

    It sounds like his real gripe is steroid testing in general, so he’s not making an effective case for why random testing is particularly egregious. As a guy who supports steroid testing, I think this is the ONLY way to police the issue considering that a) fighters are clearly cycling on and off (Hammer House, Minnesota Martial Arts Academy), and b) fighters might have an NSAC fight license, but only fight in a regulated fight once a year, doing the remainder of their fights overseas or in places where drug testing won’t be an issue (Indian casinos, what have you).

    And arguing against keeping steroids out of fighting? That’s just dumb. I know that libertarians don’t like the idea of the government protecting people from themselves, but these are guys who take a lot of punches to the head – we should probably think of them as mentally disabled. :-)

  • ninjitsu says:

    What I find the most amusing is when he asks “Is there anybody out there willing to fight for the fighters?”. Drug testing IS for the fighters: for their safety, for fair competition, and for the integrity of their sport.

  • garth says:

    it’s funny, it’s almost like rome just completely missed the point of the testing and regulation, like some kind of more-boring episode of three’s company where he misunderstood the situation and blew up over nothing.
    actually, for comedy joy, re-read his post in the voice of Mr. Furley (played by Don Knotts). MUCH better post that way.

  • Higgz says:

    Technically you could still be Michael Rome since in Fight Club Ed Norton’s character disagreed with Brad Pitt’s tactics to cause complete chaos and anarchy. The best way for you to find out is to shoot yourself in the face. Just make sure you do it right so you only kill your altar ego and not your complete self!

    Incidently, that movie rocked until that part. That was the stupidest thing I had ever seen! What an amazing shooter he must have been to aim at his face and only hit his altar ego. LAME!!!

  • You’d be surprised how many people shoot themselves in the face and live :-p But I agree, it was a bit weak, but i forgave it for the rest of the movie being AWESOME

  • Rob Enderle says:

    God youre full of shit!!

    Bob Sapp, the original Kimbo, is what? 6’4, 360? He has never killed anyone no matter how big and strong he is.
    I have seen him cry like a bitch after being punched in the eye.
    If BJ Penn does a few cycles will he punch as hard Bob? Harder maybe?
    The UFC, PRIDE and others have had their share of Don Frye’s, Kimo Leopoldo, Mark Coleman’s and so on.
    You cant miss the roid bodies over the years yet I havent seen those killing fields you speak of.
    Will Royce Gracie be ripping people’s heads right off now that he is on the juice?
    Or is a roided Royce punch still 90% weaker than a Kimbo one?

    As for drug tests?
    Feelgood measures for the false moralists who have given us the war on drugs (in which we arrest 800,000 pot smokers every year in the US while we put in power the main the heroin producers in Afghanistan and the main dealers in europe, the Kosovo Albanian terrorists).
    The tests are useless. Every olympics they have about 12-14,000 athletes and catch about 5-6.
    The world bodybuilding championships have been using the IOC testing since Dr Manfred Donnike brought them in the mid 80;s.
    Every year they have about 150 male and 150 female (!) competitors get tested for the Mr and Ms Universe and they rarely catch more than 2-3 and very often none. I have a trained in a gym where more than a dozen bodybuilders have taken part in the world championships, a couple even winning, and let me tell you that its a total farce. Competitors are talking with officials about what they are using (the amount these people spend on IGF1, HGH and others is phenomenal considering they make no money) as they are going to their piss tests.

  • kentyman says:

    “What an amazing shooter he must have been to aim at his face and only hit his altar ego. LAME!!!”

    The idea is he was able to convince himself that he only shot his alter ego. He’s crazy, remember?