This past February (2014) the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) banned the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and with the ruling, a new zero tolerance era for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) was established in the UFC.
Following the implementation of NSAC’s new legislation and the (June) failed drug test debacle that followed, as pertaining to fighters Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva, and Vitor Belfort, it was hoped that the PED issue in the UFC had finally been dealt with and put to rest. However, that proved not to be the case, as it came to light two weeks later that Sonnen had failed an additional NSAC drug test, this time for Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), as well as anastrozole and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hcG), which are two of the drugs that Sonnen tested positive for / admitted using in his first failed drug test.
On Wednesday night (June 30, 2014), fans learned that the drug prohibition message of the last few months has failed to reach the ears of at least two of the UFC’s signed fighters. As was announced by the promotion, Robert Drysdale and Kevin Casey both failed their recent post-fight drug tests; The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale and UFC 175, respectively.
For light-heavyweight Drysdale, his July 6 (2014), round one submission win over Keith Berish at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale, was tainted by elevated levels of testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratios, while middleweight Casey’s July 5, first stanza TKO victory over Bubba Bush at UFC 175, was blemished by the use of drostanolone.
According to the UFC’s release, both fighters have been “temporarily suspended” and been informed of the fact that their actions were in violation of the promotion’s “Fighter Conduct Policy.” Further, the UFC has stated that they will “support the NSAC’s determination pending a formal hearing at a later date.”
In considering it, fans are likely to take a dim view of these two fighters and their drug infractions. The pair, as every fighter in the UFC, knew the rules and they chose to ignore their proscriptions.
Regarding Drysdale in particular, it is probably even worse. For the 33-year-old world class grappler, it is the second time in ten months that he has failed an NSAC drug test and the second time that he has failed it for elevated levels of testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratios.
As to how fans might react to the news of Drysdale and Casey’s drug failures, a good guess might be that many will want the pair cut and not just suspended. The argument being, that if the UFC wants to be serious about banning PEDs, then they should simply cut fighters that infract and not rely on NSAC suspension to drive home the no-PED message.