These screenshots below show a substance being ingested by King Mo and KJ Noons (coincidentally betting favorites) before their respective bouts at Strikeforce: Houston. KJ Noons defeated Jorge Gurgel in a controversial Lightweight contest, as King Mo lost his Light Heavyweight title after being TKO’d by Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante in the third round.
Compressed Oxygen is a banned substance in any sport, including Mixed Martial Arts. TSAC’s website clarifies the rules about what kind of substances are allowed inside the cage or ring:
(i) A second shall be responsible for a contestant’s corner supplies.
(1) Approved supplies are ice, which must be in an ice bag or Department approved container, water, cotton swabs, gauze pads, clean towels, Adrenalin 1:10,000, Avitene, Thromblin, petroleum jelly or other surgical lubricant, medical diachylon tape, Enswel, and electrolytes. Electrolytes must be brought to the ring in the manufacturer’s sealed container. Electrolytes must be opened for the first time in the presence of a representative of the Department. All coagulants shall be in a container with the proper manufacturer’s label and not contaminated by any foreign substance.
(2) All containers shall be properly labeled with the manufacturer’s label and not contaminated by any foreign substance.
(3) The use of an unapproved substance may result in disciplinary action.
(4) Only water and electrolytes shall be permitted for hydration of a contestant between rounds. Honey, glucose, or sugar, or any other substance may not be mixed with the water.
The entire concept behind the compressed-oxygen spray is to keep an athlete from tiring out, which would be OK, except when one person has this cardio-boosting puffer while his opponent doesn’t.
MMAJunkie reported yesterday that the Strikeforce: Houston combatants were not tested for illegal substances by the TSAC, adding more controversy to the issue. Texas Departament of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) declared that they do not require drug testing, unless it’s ordered by the event promoters.
Stay tuned to LowKick.com for more Strikeforce: Houston news as they happen.
In a story originally published by MiddleEasy.com, it was stated that “compressed oxygen is a substance banned from nearly every endurance sport, including MMA; in every state, including Texas.” The publication also provided photos depicting both fighters ingesting the then unknown substance on national television.
According to an update provided by MMAFighting.com, the assertion that compressed oxygen is banned by the state of Texas is incorrect. In fact, Dr. Jorge Guerrero, who was the supervising ring physician in charge Saturday night, said that while he has never seen canned oxygen used in his 31 years of overseeing boxing and MMA events, the fighters in question did nothing wrong.
“Is there controversy about this?” Guerrero asked. “The fighters didn’t use anything against the rules. When it’s something that’s not overtly prohibited or limited, it’s usually left up to the doctors at ringside, and we make the call on the spot. I think that’s what happened here.”
It was also noted that the effectiveness of compressed oxygen is still questioned by many doctors and studies.
“Oxygen to me is not an enhancing chemical or a super chemical,” Guerrero said. “I think you have more problems with adrenaline than you would with 02. This is not a top priority for me to limit or decrease usage. It’s just unimportant.”
While the regulation of such products vary from state to state, in this case it appears that both Lawal and Noons have been cleared of any wrong doing.