Zuffa’s Got a NEW PED/TRT Policy…

During it’s Fighters’ Summit, Zuffa, parent to the UFC and Strikeforce, announced a new policy regarding banned substances, performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

While the Summit is closed to the public, what’s come out can be broken down like this:

The UFC & Strikeforce will not start any NEW contract with a fighter until they’ve passed as clean/free of banned substances.

Otherwise, they re-committed to following the current system in place.

It’s not the comprehensive testing solution sought by many in and around the sport, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The current system is very flawed, as they don’t have results until after a fight has taken place, which puts the fighter not on PEDs at a disadvantage, which could mean not just a loss, but serious injury.

Unfortunately, the testing is administered through the state athletic commissions, many of whom are starved for funding and unable to implement a comprehensive program, which would involve random testing at on- and off-training camp times, results before bouts and uniform rules for penalties. Should pot count as much as steroids against a fighter? What about cold medicine when the fighter isn’t in a camp, isn’t preparing for a fight and has a cold? The rules should take these things into account.

And of course there’s the matter of fights having to be canceled or fighters having to fill-in for a violator on short notice, which would further derail the stability of events already relatively unstable because of injuries. Money would be lost…

The way the sport deals with these issues is an ever-evolving situation. It’s legitimacy as a sport in part depends on how responsible it is when dealing with PEDs. We’re following it as closely as we can…