Former UFC lightweight & welterweight champion B.J. Penn has been campaigning for more drug-testing in MMA for quite some time now and following Chael Sonnen’s failure of his second random drug test, “The Prodigy” thinks things are starting to look up for the sport:
“I’m really excited that they can test for the HGH and the EPO,” Penn said during a UFC 175/TUF 19 Finale conference call. “I’ve always suspected that people were doing those things and not just a steroid. So it’s very exciting and very gratifying to finally see that they playing field is…people are going to start thinking twice about what they put in their bodies, and the playing field will be much more equal. And that’s just huge.”
Prior to the ban on testosterone-replacement therapy by the NSAC, Penn had voiced his disapproval of the treatment being used in the UFC multiple times. Sonnen was one of the recipients of the treatment up until it’s outright ban in February.
“The American Gangster” hasn’t said anything public yet regarding the failed test but he will be feeling the backlash. Sonnen has already received one ban for his first failed test and he’s just lost his job as a Fox analyst following the second. He can expect another ban and fine off the Nevada State Athletic Commission in the next few days.
“Chael Sonnen is actually a personal buddy of mine, and it’s sad to see what Chael Sonnen is going through,” he said. “But if you want to talk about the future of the sport, the safety of the fighters…and I’ve always spoke out against it. It’s just I’m so excited now that they can get the HGH and the EPO. That put a smile on my face.”
It should put a smile on everyone’s face.
Human growth hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) are incredibly hard to detect in tests; even if a blood sample has been taken. The fact that both substances have been discovered means the NSAC are upping their game when it comes to more stringent testing. Which is good news all round…unless your name ends in Sonnen.