by Ivan Trembow – MMAWeekly.com
Joe Pearson, who fought for the WEC Featherweight Title at the first Zuffa-owned WEC event on January 20th, has tested positive for a metabolite form of the active ingredient in marijuana, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The active ingredient in marijuana is Delta-9-THC, and Pearson tested positive for Delta-9-THC’s major metabolite, Delta-9-THC Carboxylic Acid. THC is short for Tetrahydrocannabinol, and it is the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana.
Pearson is the ninth MMA fighter to fail a drug test in the state of Nevada since the beginning of 2006.
With Pearson’s test for recreational drugs coming back positive, two of the four fighters in WEC title bouts on the January 20th event have now tested positive for a banned substance.
Last week, when the test results came back for performance-enhancing drugs, WEC Lightweight Title challenger Kit Cope was found to have tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid Boldenone. Cope lost his January 20th fight to Rob McCullough, while Pearson lost his fight to Urijah Faber.
The six fighters who were drug tested at the WEC event on January 20th were Pearson, Cope, Faber, McCullough, Rich Crunkilton, and Mike Joy. Faber, McCullough, Crunkilton, and Joy passed all of their drug tests.
Competitors in MMA, boxing, and kickboxing who have been suspended for positive marijuana tests in the state of Nevada in the past have included Samson Po’uha, Sean McCully, Jason Guida, and Carter Williams. Though there is no standard punishment for a drug test failure in Nevada, previous fighters have generally been suspended six months for their first offense (and twelve months for their second offense in the case of Po’uha).
According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the steroid test for any given fighter costs $154.50, the drug screen (which also tests for recreational drugs) costs $78.90, and the stimulant test costs $45.00, so the total cost of drug testing one fighter is $278.40.
The NSAC spent a total of $1,670.40 on drug testing for the first Zuffa-owned WEC event, which was also the first WEC event in Nevada. The total cost of drug testing every fighter on the card would have been $5,011.20. With 664 tickets sold, the WEC event had a live gate of $100,155.