While many believe that USADA is doing a phenomenal job of testing UFC fighters in an attempt to eliminate PED usage in MMA, the US Anti-Doping Agency isn’t ready to take their foot off the pedal just yet.
UFC VP of Athlete Health & Performance Jeff Novitzky told MMAFighting that USADA is looking to test nearly 700 fighters in the 3rd quarter of 2016, nearly triple the amount they were doing per quarter in 2015.
“We’re very happy with where the program is, considering we started from scratch,” said Novitzky, who gave a presentation on anti-doping and weight management at the ABC Conference. “I’m amazed the progress that we’ve had getting this off the ground. This will be the first quarter — the third quarter of 2016 — where we have a fully implemented program.”
USADA caught quite a bit of criticism last month for delivering Jon Jones’ June out-of-competition drug test results just two days before he was set to headline UFC 200, and Brock Lesnar’s June out-of-competition- drug test results after he fought on UFC 200.
Novitzky touched on both of those topics, saying:
“Let me be clear: Just because this is my program, those days and those occurrences are challenging,” he said. “I never want to see that happen. I don’t take any pleasure that the program is working, seeing that happen. Sometimes one or two of those needs to happen for everybody to open their eyes. If anybody had any reservations about the seriousness, about the independence of the program, that it doesn’t matter if you’re the first on the depth chart of the roster or the last you’re going to be treated the same under this program.”