Dana White’s been a busy man down under, so I almost believe his feigned surprise when the media questioned him about Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson’s admitted testosterone injections. He had a pretty good answer ready in his back pocket:
He told Fighters Only that while he had no specific knowledge of Jackson’s TRT medication at that moment, he is in no position to raise any objections to the therapy as it is allowed – by way of exemption – by athletic commissions all over the US.
“If its legal, if you can do it and the athletic commission allows you to do it and you come in at the right levels, what kind of stance am I going to take on it?” he said when asked whether he has any issues with use of TRT by fighters.
“But what we are doing right now, and I don’t know if you know this, but out new policy is if you come in and you sign a new deal with us you get tested for everything. And if you test positive you are not going to get signed by the UFC.
“Oh yeah, it’s totally f*cked up. But check this out, we test them once the same useless way too when we sign em.” Aaaargh!
“We are the most regulated sport on earth. Meaning that the government comes in and tests these guys every time they fight. If baseball, football and basketball went through the same thing, there would be no football, baseball or basketball. Guys would be ‘popping’ and out every weekend. [MMA] is the most regulated sport on earth.”
There’s no denying that part of Dana’s statement: the government has taken responsibility for testing in combat sports, and they do test fighters more than any other sport out there. The testing is just completely inadequate, not just in catching people using straight up steroids but in regulating the use of new performance enhancement schemes like testosterone replacement therapy. It will catch potsmokers though, so … yay?
If there’s ever a hope of getting mixed martial arts anywhere close to a place where we can hope half the athletes aren’t on something, a complete overhaul of the system is needed. It doesn’t matter if it’s the UFC or the athletic commissions doing it, but something needs to happen. Carbon isotope testing, blood testing and random testing are a good way to start and you’d hope getting things up to WADA standards would be a nice goal to shoot for. But so long as the UFC can point at the athletic commissions and the athletic commissions keep being as swift as that kid who eats glue, PEDs will continue to run rampant through the sport.
No word from Mr White regarding Mr Jackson’s upcoming doggy style-themed rap career. Boo-urns.