Japanese Drug Testing Cost Prohibitive?

November 4, 2009

Last week, Japanese MMA website Nightmare of the Battle reported on the apparently exorbidant cost of drug testing in Japan:

The managing director of the Japan Muay Thai Federation, which is one of the organizations under the new Japan Martial Arts Federation, talked about this new federation.


One thing he said is that doping tests per person cost 370,000 YEN (~4,000 USD). However, organizations affiliated with the Japan Olympic Committee only have to pay 30,000 YEN.


It would be really hard for Japanese MMA organizations to pay that amount of money if they wanted to do doping tests. How much does it cost in the U.S.?


Anyway, this news has brought up a discussion about the pro organizations affiliated with the JMAF (WVR, Shooto, Pancrase, and ZST). I don’t know if the 30,000 YEN goes for pro organizations as well but this could be one of the reasons that the pro organizations affiliated themselves with the federation.

Payout Perspective:

The newly formed Japanese Martial Arts Federation (JMAF) was ostensibly created to further develop martial arts in Japan. Its members include some of Japan’s biggest MMA promotions including WVR, Shooto, and ZST.

Whether the federation makes any true impact remains to be seen, but if the Managing Director of the Japanese Muay Thai Federation is correct, joining the JMAF may reduce the cost of drug testing for Japanese promotions (if they hadn’t already secured a reduced rate on their own).

Just to give you some comparison: typically, a complete drug test will run an organization $200 per fighter ($35 for drugs of abuse and $165 for a separate steroid panel) in the United States.

Note: this says nothing about whether the Japanese drug tests are actually enforced. It’s one thing to test, it’s another thing to act on the results.

2 Responses to “Japanese Drug Testing Cost Prohibitive?”

  1. Joseph on November 4th, 2009 2:53 PM

    Nice write up. I believe that they are heading in the right direction, and Sengoku want’s MMA to be considered a legitimate sport in Japan. With that said, they have to take these actions in order to achieve their goal. There will be a battle with the Olympic Committee to recognize JMAF and MMA as a sport, but its good that they are trying to iron these things out now.

  2. jj on November 4th, 2009 5:33 PM

    I can’t believe it costs so much, is there only one lab in Japan for that kind of thing?

    In the end why do the tests have to be performed in Japan? There are lots of credible anti doping labs all over the world, is there not?

    At least they’re finally starting to address the issue of rampant steroid abuse in Japanese MMA. I hate how the discussions of most good fighters who compete in Japan always end up being about steroids.

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