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By: Jason Amadi, MMATorch Columnist
Over the last few months, there has been a very strong push online for the UFC to seek out an independent third party like the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) to randomly drug test its fighters and help clean up the sport of mixed martial arts.
To be honest, I've had my reservations about the idea. If a drug tests turns up positive and VADA makes the result public or contacts the presiding athletic commission about the result, then that's great. But if the UFC has anything at all to do with disciplining the fighter, then I think that's a complete conflict of interest and I have little to no faith in Zuffa doing the right thing.
Sure, there is no evidence of the UFC sitting on a fighter's positive drug test and letting him fight at this point, but I think Zuffa brass is cutting it pretty close with former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem.
If Overeem is somehow able to get licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission through some sort of testosterone replacement therapy excuse (as has been reported by @FrontRowBrian), whether or not the UFC still allows him to fight in the main event of UFC 146 will speak volumes about their attitude towards the use of PEDs in their sport.
Last November, the Nevada State Athletic Commission requested a sample from Alistair Overeem to drug test him for his December showdown with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. More specifically, they asked him for a sample on November 17 and he played all sorts of games to avoid getting them what they needed until December 14.
The Dutch kickboxer nearly cost the UFC a pay-per-view main event in December with his drug test evasion, and we're essentially seeing the same thing from him again for the second time in two UFC fights.
If the NSAC is incompetent enough to grant Alistair Overeem a license to fight Junior dos Santos, that doesn't absolve the UFC of any responsibility in this matter. They would have effectively sat back and watched a fighter nearly destroy two of their pay-per-views with PED scandals and done nothing about it. That just isn't good enough for a league of the UFC's caliber.
It's one thing for fans and media to not care about PEDs, but it's another thing entirely for a league the size of the UFC to tacitly accept their athletes using PEDs.
We know the NSAC doesn't care; their track record proves as much. We know Strikeforce didn't care, as evidenced by them commission shopping for Overeem the second "The Demolition" transformed into "Ubereem."
But it isn't okay for the UFC not to care. Dana White can't beat his chest about his sport being the most tested on earth if he's willing to turn a blind eye to PED use as long as an athlete is savvy enough to fool the government.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @JasonAmadi and direct your "Ask the Torch" questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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