PED Fallout: White Clarifies Silva Timeline, GSP Praises New Testing Program

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Earlier today (Wed., February 18, 2015) the UFC held an important press conference to address the looming specter of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in MMA.

The conference came to fruition out of necessity when longtime middleweight champion Anderson Silva failed both out-of-competition and post-fight tests for his UFC 183 win over Nick Diaz.

The pre-fight failure came with a massive amount of controversy in that Silva was tested on January 9 but the test results did not come back until after the fight on February 3. At the press conference today, UFC President Dana White cleared up the situation:

“So Anderson Silva had a pre-fight test; an out-of-competition test, and that test was on January 9, and it was done by the Sports Medicine and Research Testing Laboratory which is a world anti-doping agency and accredited lab in Salt Lake City, Utah. That test was taken on January 9. The Nevada State Athletic Commission did not get that result back until Tuesday, February 3, and we found out at 10 a.m. that morning. The NSAC notified us, and we found out that morning.”

White said that he and the UFC were indeed surprised by the timing of everything:

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“Believe me, if you don’t think when this pre-fight test came into us on Tuesday, we didn’t say, ‘How is this just coming in now? It doesn’t make sense.”

The outspoken leader was adamant that neither the UFC nor NAC would allow a fighter to go forward with a scheduled fight had they known he was on PEDs:

“That test did not come back until after the fight, and that’s when we were notified. First of all, the Nevada Athletic Commission would never let a fighter go in if they knew he was on performance-enhancing drugs, and we would never do that. No fight, or no one fighter, is worth the integrity of the sport. It would never happen. This test came back after the fact. There’s some issues there; I get it, and these are all things that are being worked on now, but I just want everybody to know, we would never do that; the NAC would never do that.”

White moved on to discuss Hector Lombard’s situation after “Showeather” was pulled from his UFC 186 co-main event versus Rory MacDonald:

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“Hector Lombard failed his post-fight test on January 3. The results came back on January 13. So as soon as we heard he tested positive, we yanked him off the card. He was supposed to fight in Montreal in the co-main event against Rory MacDonald. So as soon as we heard, he was out, out of the fight.”

He also made it clear that it is not the UFC’s job to announce drug test failures, but rather the responsibility of athletic commissions:

“We never announce when a guy tests positive unless we’re self-regulating. But there’s never situation where we announce a drug test that was done by the NSAC. We just don’t do it.”

It seems like White wanted to go out of his way to solidify any mix-ups about the last month’s drug test issues, and he did so, at least as far as he could. His business partner Lorenzo Fertitta chronicled the UFC’s new drug testing policy that will start on July 1, 2015.

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Former champion Georges St. Pierre caught wind of the situation, expressing his excitement at the new policy on Twitter:

Indeed there may be cause for celebration in terms of ridding the sport of MMA of PEDs, but like ‘Rush’ said, we’ll have to wait and see exactly how the details play out in real life.

That will take time, but at least the UFC is making a concerted effort and spending the money to implement enhanced testing.

Whether or not it truly leads to the black eye of PEDs being removed from the UFC remains to be seen.

Do you view today’s news as a game-changer or not?