NSAC cuts out of competition drug testing

February 26, 2011

MMA Junkie reports that due to budget cuts, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has eliminated out of competition drug testing. This type of drug testing is thought to be a strong deterrent to performance enhancing drugs in pro competition.

Via MMA Junkie:

With state governments around the country tightening their belts amid a widening recession, the NSAC’s budget for out-of-competition testing was reduced to $12,000 (from $18,000) in fiscal year 2009-2010. Regulators then asked the commission to give back all of the money before the year’s end, (NSAC Executive Director Keith) Kizer said.

In fiscal year 2010-2011, there is no money in the NSAC’s budget for out-of-competition drug testing, though athletes are still tested either the day prior to an event or immediately following it, and sometimes both.

The enforcement gap has nevertheless prompted the commission to get creative in coming up with the money to reinstate the program. One solution expected to be addressed at a meeting early next month is to draw a portion of funds from the amateur combative sports program, which pays for some of the safety and administrative costs associated with amateur boxing, kickboxing and MMA. The program is funded by a “ticket fee” assessed by the NSAC at professional events that is separate from the commission’s live gate fee, which takes a percentage of the money generated by ticket sales. The ticket fee amounts to .50 per ticket with live gates totaling less than $1 million, and $1 per ticket above that figure.

Commissioners will decide during the March meeting whether to lobby legislators on changing the NSAC’s funding statutes for the next state budget, which runs from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013. Nevada legislators are working to close a $2.2 billion dollar shortfall in the state’s general fund, which has prompted governor Pete Sandoval to recommend harsh cutbacks in education and government spending in his budget proposal.

Payout Perspective:

The out of competition testing was a way that the commission would keep fighters honest even when not training for an upcoming fight. The elimination of this does not mean that fighters will immediately use PEDs, but it takes away a deterrent. Although I think that the out of competition drug tests are valuable, I do not think the NSAC should shortchange amateur programs to fund this testing. In a time when states are crunching budgets, a lot of tough choices will need to be made.

6 Responses to “NSAC cuts out of competition drug testing”

  1. Diego on February 26th, 2011 6:49 AM

    Showing my ignorance here, I had no idea that this was even done. I thought they only tested on the night of the fight or the day prior.

  2. BrainSmasher on February 26th, 2011 2:18 PM

    When you look at the money they were running the program on you see why you never heard of anyone being tested. I remeber hearing them test guys who had tested positive in the past. But keep in mind the test costs a few hundred bucks. Say $300. Thats only 60 tests a year reduced down to 40 tests spread out over MMA and Boxing and what ever other sports are included. More than likely the process was seldom used and the money went into other areas but it was good the option was there to scare people. Now the option is gone.

  3. mmaguru on February 27th, 2011 5:47 AM

    Was it not this type of test that got Josh Barnett in the current conundrum and in turn StrikeForce who have yet to go public with a date for the continuation of the HWGP?

  4. Machiel Van on February 28th, 2011 8:02 AM

    Brain, I agree that the reality of the budget for out of competition testing resulted in few actual tests, but at least the possibility was there hanging over the fighters’ heads. With this announcement, they’ll KNOW for sure that they will only be tested right around the time of the event. Was it legally necessary for the NSAC to announce this unfortunate turn of events in such a public manner? Seems like they could have cut it and stayed mum.

    Guru, I believe Barnett was actually caught as part of his reapplication for a fight licence in California for Affliction: Trilogy (something he knew he’d have to do, which made it all the more ridiculous).

  5. MagSlim on February 28th, 2011 11:35 AM

    In a sporting landscape where boxers are making $30 million a fight and the UFC is making tens of millions from their Nevada events alone they are struggling to come up with $6k to keep drug testing live year-round for athletes?

    This is the height of absurdity and should be on the front page of every mma site. The UFC, Bob Arum, Manny, Floyd, Anderson or anyone else who made plenty this year should suck it up and pay the 6k to improve the image of the sport that has been so good to them.

    This is investing in the future, the only reason no one is doing it is because there are people who don’t want to see it happen.

  6. BrainSmasher on February 28th, 2011 2:35 PM

    I agree Machiel. I think this money was used in other area’s and they had to go public to justify their raising of fee’s to get that money back. We all know the money wasnt going to testing but they want that money and they are using it for an excuse to raise fee’s. They should have never went public with it. But getting the money is more important to them that deterring people from cheating.

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