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Nevada Gets Tougher on Steroids

The Nevada State Athletic Commission is serious about ensuring that steroids and other banned substances are not used by fighters that compete in their state. They recently issued a memo to all fighters that are licensed in Nevada. Bad Man Sports has obtained the document and its full text follows.

To: All Nevada Licensees

From: John R. Bailey, Chairman

Date: January 7, 2008

Subject: Additional Steroid and Drug Testing

Through all of our collective efforts, we have come a long way in eradicating the use of prohibited substances (e.g., steroids) in unarmed combat in Nevada. There is however much work to be done. While the vast majority of our licensed fighters understand the health risks and unfair competitive advantage associated with the use of prohibited substances, the Commission continues to identify a small number of fighters who refuse to comply with our statutes and regulations. There has been some indication through comments made during the Commission’s public meetings that these non-compliant fighters have become very sophisticated in the timing of taking prohibited substances.

Therefore, in addition to the steroid and drug tests performed on contestants on fight night, the Commission will be requiring fighters licensed by the Commission, and applicants for such licensure, to submit to these tests when ordered by the Commission at other times during the year. (The costs of these “pre-fight night” tests will be paid by the Commission.) The process for selecting which fighters are required to submit to these tests will be based on: (i) a random selection; (ii) some indication that a particular fighter may be using a prohibited substance; or (iii) the fact that a fighter has previously tested positive for using a prohibited substance.

The Commission will contact the fighter directly and will also attempt to contact the fighter’s promoter, if known, with the ordering of the test and the timeframe within which the test must be taken. If a fighter either fails to take the test within that the required timeframe or fails the test, the Commission may refuse to license the fighter, refuse to allow the fighter to compete, and/or discipline the fighter. As you know, the Commission’s primary goal is to deter fighters from taking non-approves substances. Consequently, the Commission is hopeful that all tests will come back negative.

The Commission and its staff appreciate your efforts to ensure that competition between fighters in Nevada is conducted in a fair manner and that each fighter’s health is not compromised by the use of prohibited substances. If you have any questions or comments on this matter, please contact the Commission’s Executive Directo, Keith Kizer at (702) 486-2575. As always, please feel free to contact any Commissioner with any concerns you may have. Thank you.

It’s commendable that the commission is looking to keep performance enhancers out of the sport and in order to ensure this, year-round testing is indeed required. However, how does one determine what “some indication that a particular fighter may be using a prohibited substance” is?

Nevada is the first state commission to take such a stand.