UFC and its Performance Enhancement Dilemma
Performance Enhancing Drugs do exactly as the name implies, increase performance. Most of these drugs, or PEDs are made up of steroids and other muscle, recovery, or energy enhancing drugs.Testosterone and estrogen blockers have been suspending fighters left and right over the last two years.
The UFC and the USADA
After being pressured to have better regulations regarding performance enhancing drugs, the UFC agreed to start using the USADA to do drug testing. This agreement went into effect on July 1, 2015.
Fighters Caught Cheating
This is just a short list of the fighters who have been caught in 2016:
- Brock Lesnar (Clomiphene is typically used by bodybuilders to decrease estrogen and increase test after steroid cycle)
- Jon “Bones” Jones (Clomiphene and Letrozole, both used to decrease estrogen and increase test after steroid cycle )
- Chad Mendez (GHRP-6, a growth hormone release)
- Carlos Diego Ferreira (Ostarine, a SARM with steroid like effects)
- Frank Mir (Oral Turinabol, a steroid)
- Tim Means (Ostarine)
- Konstantin Erokhin (Drostanolone, a steroid)
Why So Many Now?
Although there were countless athletes who were caught using steroids before the USADA/UFC agreement, the staggering magnitude of big names should not be all that shocking. Prior to the USADA agreement, UFC fighters were only tested prior to the fight. This gave fighters the opportunity to use PEDs and recover before having to be tested. With the USADA agreement, fighters are tested randomly before fights. This reduces the window in which fighters can use, but there is a window. The drugs that Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones tested positive have limited benefits if not recovering from a steroid cycle. Even with the current testing model, hypothetically both fighters used anabolic steroids without getting caught.
What’s the Solution?
Call me an anti-purist. I want to see home-runs, knock outs, and huge freaks of nature. Putting a ban on a specific substance will only ask people to find ways around the ban. Would I like to see Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones fight in 6 months? Absolutely, but because of the stringent drug testing requirements, our favorite fighters will be banned for 2 years. There is no solution.
UFC and the Era of Mediocrity:
Once all the great fighters are tainted and banned from competition will we see the era of mediocrity. Will the fights be as good? Will their be the knock outs we used to see? Who knows.
Did Dana White and the Ferrita Brothers Sell the UFC at the Right Time?
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