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Zuffa announces implementation of pre-contract screening for PED use

Beginning immediately, Zuffa has put in place a pre-signing screening for performance enhancing drugs that any and all incoming fighters will have to pass before they are signed.

The news of this test comes as positive results have come back claiming fighters such as 145-pound champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos and former light heavyweight champ Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal have tested positive. Both compete for Strikeforce, which is owned by Zuffa.

“We’re committed to the health and safety of our athletes and we take it very seriously,” Zuffa chief executive Lorenzo Fertitta said in an official statement on the matter. “We already work closely with athletic commissions to protect our athletes and now we’re taking it one step further. We’re going to test any potential UFC or Strikeforce fighter before finalizing their contract. This shows that we don’t want performance enhancing drugs in our sport.”

The policy, which has been retroactively dated to the beginning of the new year, means all future fighters must undergo testing procedures before they are official. UFC President Dana White added, “Our new testing policy for performance enhancing drugs only further shows how important it is to us to have our athletes competing on a level playing field.”

Lawal, a former wrestler in college, has claimed the test is false and that he has not taken anything illegal. Santos also said much the same, adding that her positive test was for a supplement given to her by her a respected trainer.


  • Kamakosmo says:

    So, it’s being “Grandfathered” in? Meaning no currently on the roster fighters have to comply?

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  • Rece Rock says:

    maybe when current fighter re-sign with a new contract that’s part of the compliance…? Unless there is stuff in there contract that allows them to just sign on to just extend the previous contract but i think as fighters get bigger and better they renegotiate which will allow the testing to be done..?

    I dunno but I guess it’s a start.

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  • Niv says:

    This is a small excerpt from another article referencing Dick Pound the former Olympi Commitee member responsible for drug testing.

    “But the announcement is just window dressing, suggests Dick Pound, a Montreal-based lawyer and former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

    “It’s complete illusory and obviously intended to be that way,” he said with a laugh.

    “The minute you know when you’ll be tested, it’s very easy to make sure you don’t test positive.”

    The only way to really test athletes is to have a random drug testing program 365 days a year so that they cannot prepare, he said.”

    I think he’s right and mma is wide open to abuse, I would be surprised if most fighters aren’t using them.

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  • MCM says:

    Dick Pound !? That may be the most unfortunate name I’ve ever heard, and I knew a guy named Mike Hunt.

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  • Dufresne says:

    It’s a good start but Dick Pound is spot on. And to be perfectly honest I don’t see why Zuffa can’t implement random drug testing to all fighters under contract. They’re employees of Zuffa and there are a number of other companies that have random drug testing, so it’s not like it’s a new idea.

    The guy with the worst name I’ve ever met was “Harry Butte III”, and yes that is pronounced “butt”. What I could never figure out is how the first two didn’t get the joke. I also had a buddy named Ryan William Robert Ryan in high school, which doesn’t sound too bad until you realize it’s Ryan Billy Bob Ryan, but I don’t think either of those touch Dick Pound. Hell, his initials are DP. The guy just can’t catch a break.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    For pro sports leagues, it’s more about managing & appeasing public perception than actually cracking down on PEDs. So from that standpoint, this is a solid manuever that oughtta gain Zuffa/UFC some points in the PR game.

    As far as names go, this one is pretty cool.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    Didn’t Dick Pound used to train with Mike Hawk?

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