With the recent string of PED busts, and drug testing failures, including Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Nick Diaz, and Hector Lombard to name just a few within the UFC, there has been much talk of a PED pandemic in MMA.
California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster, a former MMA fighter himself, believes that the PED problem isn’t as bad as it seems, even going as far as to say that he doesn’t believe even 50% of fighters are on PEDs.
He spoke to MMAFighting:
“I mean, I do a lot of testing over here, so I look at all of the results that we get back, and certainly there is a problem. I think we all agree that there is a problem. Do I think that 90-percent of the fighters, or 80-percent, or even 50-percent of the fighters out there are doing performance enhancing drugs? I do not. I do not believe that. My evidence does not support that.”
“You get a fight card of 24 athletes and you get one or two who pop — the percentage of that is not that high. You even go to the out-of-competition stuff, and I think with the recent [results] — very small numbers, mind you — but what, 30-percent, or 38-percent, or whatever it was, who popped? I mean, that’s certainly a problem. Certainly it’s a problem, and I’m not saying it’s not a problem, but it’s not 90-percent of the people doing it.”
Foster went on to discuss the UFC’s recent press conference held to address the PED issue in MMA. During the press conference the UFC announced that they would crack down on PED testing, and would push for harsher penalties for fighters who fail drug tests.
“I think there’s a lot of great ideas that came out of the press conference. We’ve got to wait and see more specifics on who they get, how they unfold it. But certainly I think everyone would agree that those are a lot of good ideas that came out of that.”
“I would guess that would be about two millions dollars. Two or three millions dollars. Maybe two million. Depends on how many times you want to test them, but that seems about right. Obviously (it also matters) what you want to test them for. I don’t know what they’re paying and all of that. I just know what our contract says and how much it costs and these different types of things. Depends on what you want to test them for. If you add blood to the mix as well, which I assume they do, it certainly increases the cost of the test.”
“I’m not a lab guy. I’ve never taken a performance enhancing drug and only have looked at the studies, so I don’t know. I don’t know if [fight night urine tests are] easy to beat or not. Maybe they are. But I think out-of-competition (tests are) good. That way people know that they can’t take [PEDs] during their training, so I think that’s important. I think increasing the penalties are important. Because what you want to create is an environment of deterrence and a clean sport.”