The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) recently handed out a harsh punishment to now retired UFC vet Wanderlei Silva, who ran from a random drug test prior to his scheduled UFC 175 match-up against Chael Sonnen.
The commission gave Silva a lifetime ban in the state of Nevada as well as fining him $70,000. UFC commentator Joe Rogan does not agree with the harsh punishment handed down to the former Pride champion. He explained his thoughts on Wednesday (September 25, 2014):
“I just think the penalty is way over the top. It’s one thing if you want to tell the guy he’s suspended for a year. Pretend as if you caught him for using steroids. If he got caught and it was his first time being caught it would be a nine month suspension. Instead of doing that they prohibit him from fighting for a f**king life. A whole life. He can’t be 80 and apply for a license for running from one drug test. I think that’s ridiculous.”
Rogan also respected the commission’s attempt at “laying down the law”, but did not agree with the way they did it:
“You can’t do it like that,” said Rogan. “You’re sending a message that you have ultimate power and you’re unreasonable. That’s not reasonable. It’s one thing if they said, ‘Hey, we’re going to suspend you for two years’ like Chael Sonnen. Two years is big, but to say ‘You can never fight again, ever, because you ran [from] a test.’
He f**ked up. He definitely f**ked up. That’s so unprecedented. It’s so crazy. Even if they said they were going to suspend him for two years, man, that’s harsh as s**t. There’s a big difference between a guy running from a drug test and a guy beating the f**k out of his kid with a stick or a guy knocking his girlfriend out in an elevator. Those are different things. That’s like some evil s**t.”
The UFC commentator also talked about the fact that the commission is now introducing the random drug testing and how he feels it is a good thing:
“These [fighters] have been juking the system for a long time,” said Rogan. “Chael was the tip of the iceberg and when he got popped it sent a real message to everybody. They want to clean that sport up and that’s the way to do it. The way to clean it up is to randomize drug testing and to do the most stringent level of testing imaginable and that’s what they’re doing right now.
If they didn’t do that it becomes a mockery. If it becomes a mockery it actually devalues the sport. It could be detrimental to the bottom line of a business and that’s the difference between guys like Lorenzo Ferttita. He runs casinos. They know how to make money.”
Random drug testing will undoubtedly help clean up the sport which has been receiving some harsh criticism as of late due to the number of failed drug tests from fans and other fighters as well.
In the last year, the commission has definitely been trying to fix their problems, and it seems as if they are doing a decent job. However, was it too much this time? Does Rogan have a good argument?