Zuffa announces PED Policy
July 13, 2012
The UFC announced earlier this week at its Fighter Summit that it would provide UFC and Strikeforce fighters a formal policy concerning Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and other banned substances.
Via UFC press release:
Lawrence Epstein, the company’s Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, explained the written policy is a continuation of existing policy, and that both promotions will follow guidelines drafted by the same law firm which advises the National Football League on PEDs.
Epstein said: “It is important to continue educating our athletes on the dangers of PEDs and other banned substances. Additionally, no new UFC or STRIKEFORCE promotional agreement will become effective before the athlete has provided a clean PED test result.”
He added: “PED and banned substance usage harms the integrity of sport, potentially compromises the safety of our athletes, raises concerns for both short and long-term health issues and sends an improper message to our fanbase. We will continue to be at the forefront of this issue. And we will continue to work with Athletic Commissions and other bodies to ensure – to the fullest extent possible – that testing procedure keep pace with scientific advancements regarding the identification and detection of prohibited substances.”
The promotions’ medical consultant Dr. Jeff Davidson then spoke to the athletes about both the short and long-term medical effects of PEDs. Dr. Davidson discussed the topical Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Keith Kizer – the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission – detailed the laws and regulations pertaining to PEDs and TRT.
Announcing that the law firm that is drafting the PED policy is the same firm that advises the NFL on PEDs lends credibility to its efforts that it is attempting to address the issue of PEDs in its sports. But, if you think that the NFL is not addressing its PED problem, then you may take issue. Zuffa had to address the PED issue considering the number of incidents that have come up in the past couple years. It will be interesting to see if the policy addresses the TRT issue and Nevada’s policy of allowing therapeutic use exemptions for fighters. As we’ve read, Forrest Griffin became the sixth fighter to obtain a TUE exemption. With Keith Kizer advising the fighters on the rules and regulations of TRT, will more fighters seek the exemption?