Dana White Promises UFC Will Address Performance Enhancing Drugs in MMA

May 2, 2012
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The subject of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has become a touchy one in the world of mixed martial arts.

Several high profile fighters have admitted to using the program including Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Dan Henderson, and Nate Marquardt, and athletic commissions have created exemptions in certain cases to allow competitors to use TRT therapy when necessary in competition.

UFC president Dana White has had to deal with the TRT subject on more than one occasion, and believes in its purest form the therapy is good for those who need it, but when it becomes legalized cheating, that’s when it crosses a line.

“I know this is a very touchy subject and everybody has different opinions on it, but I actually think that it’s great that technology has this thing now where guys have made mistakes, they messed up, they used steroids when they were younger, and all this other stuff, that this testosterone replacement therapy can actually help people who need it,” White said recently.

“Then you get into a situation now where as in everything, you get guys who are out there doing it when they don’t need to do it, and they’re doing it to enhance their performance and it pisses me off. It really, really pisses me off.”

The TRT conversation was sparked again when UFC 146 main event fighter Alistair Overeem tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, which forced him out of his scheduled bout against Junior dos Santos on May 26 in Las Vegas.

Ultimately, Overeem’s defense for the elevated levels of testosterone stemmed from an injection he received to help with a rib injury he suffered. His doctor laced the pain killing cocktail with a water based form of testosterone.

Regardless of why he tested positive, Overeem’s positive test still brought up the controversial subject again and the spotlight in turn refocused on the UFC with many people in the media, as well as fans, asking what could be done to prevent this from happening again?

Well no one is naïve enough to believe that no fighter will ever use performance enhancing drugs again, but according to White, they will get their hands around this thing eventually and curb the usage dramatically.

“There’s a lot of people that like to talk (expletive) about us. We’ve done a lot of great things in the last 11 years with this sport. From building to what it is today, guys making (expletive) loads of money, health insurance for all the fighters, getting on Fox, we’ve done thing people said we would never ever (expletive) do. We’ve accomplished all these things,” said White.

“Whether it’s fighter safety or whatever it is, we always do the right thing. We come out with what I think is the best way to handle it, and believe me when I tell you we are going to (expletive) come down on this thing. We are gonna do it. Is it me running around and testing 375 fighters all over the world? No. You guys can talk all the (expletive) you want about that, it’s not going to happen, but we will figure something out. Maybe it’s WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).”

While White once again shoots down the idea that the UFC will start doing their own independent random testing, he doesn’t want anyone to believe that they simply don’t care, because it’s not true.

Performance enhancing drugs are a black eye on any sport and there is a negative stigma or taint attached to any fighter who has ever tested positive for a banned substance. It also ruins the outcome of big fights or prevents some big fights from ever happening, just like the case of Alistair Overeem at UFC 146.

“We don’t want anybody doing this stuff. We don’t want anyone using banned substances or drugs or anything else. It destroys everything. Not only questions about the credibility of the sport and everything else, but it destroys big fights. It hurts everybody,” White stated.

Ultimately, White wants to believe that all of his fighters are clean and honest about their training and fight preparation. Unfortunately, the truth doesn’t always work that way, and that’s another reason why White was so upset with the Overeem situation, because the bottom line was he felt lied to when he spoke to the heavyweight about his drug usage.

“I like to give guys… with my fighters and everybody with people I meet, I’ve had situations with lots of people, it’s how you (expletive) handle yourself as a man, in life, in business, in everything else,” said White.

“If you sit down and tell me one thing and it’s not true or you do another thing, then (expletive) you. I’m done.”

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  • TKD

    ““If you sit down and tell me one thing and it’s not true or you do another thing, then (expletive) you. I’m done.”

    Ok, Dana, put up or shut up. Here’s your chance to show us that you mean what you say, and say what you mean. Deal with Overeem swiftly, and prove to us that your words are more than just hot air. But you won’t…

  • maddawgmar

    Again, Dana with the cursing in every sentence. Everytime I read a (expletive) quote from him, every sentence has (expletive) expletives. This is getting really (expletive) old. How can parents expose the younger generation to the UFC if Dana is (expletive) cursing all the time? I am a (expletive) U.S. Marine and I cuss like it…. With my friends, but at work and around my daughter I keep my (expletive) mouth clean. It’s called being an (expletive) adult, and (expletive) professional. Try it sometime.

    And for you “numb wits” that didnt get the expletive thing, I was making a point on how annoying it is. All the sentences work if you take them away.

    • TKD

      You know, I never really notice it until they put it in print. That is when you realize how annoying it is. Otherwise, I never really paid much attention to it.

    • (expletive) Hilarious Mad-dawg! I was thinking the same thing reading this. “How we have come so far.. Blah blah” yet I still want to talk like a two dollar whore in all my interviews. Sure I cuss like the rest of em, but I wouldnt dare do it on a TV interview that was going to be viewed by the general public…

      BTW, I understand punishing “PED’s”, I wonder how he is going to handle DUI’s and the likes? Are we going “Copy exact” to the NFL?? I wouldnt be surprised to see him nail the Brit who just got popped for a DUI.

  • Guys are going to cheat but they can’t cut everyone who tests positive otherwise their competition will just scoop them up and turn a profit off a guy the UFC spent time, money and effort building and promoting.

    They might have to put language in future contracts where the fighter agrees to fines and suspensions being levied by Zuffa (in addition to the various state athletic commissions). As of right now, Zuffa does not have the legal ability to impose a fine or “suspension” (although they can put a guy on ice for an indefinite period of time).

    • TKD

      I am ok with any way they discipline their fighters. I just don’t want to hear how he is going to be “done” with them, but then does nothing to them. It’s kind of like a parent that keeps threatening their child, never follows thru on the discipline, and then wonders why little Johnny still acts like an ass. Everyone else sees thru it.

  • KBEsq

    It really bothers me that he’s so open to TRT at all. As long as you let that in the door, guys are going to use it to gain an advantage. White’s quote, “it’s when guys use it to enhance their performance that pisses me off.”

    No matter who is using it, they are using it to enhance their performance, so White is basically saying it’s only okay if your performance was already hindered by past steroid use. That’s a slippery slope that we cannot allow on this issue.

  • Wonder how much it cost UFC to do the tests. With 400+ fighters in their roster, he’d have to do it every month to each one, and they are located all over the world. Costs would be insane.

  • dathump

    Any fighter wanting to go on TRT should be tested BEFORE they go on it to prove their test levels are well below normal. Set a level that is considered normal and if they are in the normal range they should be denied the excuse, er I mean perscription for TRT. If they are below normal by tests performed by the UCF or athletic commision,(not some random Dr.) then that opens the door to using it, but will also allow the commission to know who is using and can put a clause in the licence that they must submit samples at certain intervals to make sure levels done go too high.

  • So the average males produces a 1:1 testosterone to epitestosterone ratio. UFC allows a 6:1 ratio, 6X the average male produces. So if older fighters are allowed to supplement TRT to the max ratio of 6:1 then how is that NOT cheating compared to the younger fighters who are naturally producing at 1:1, 2:1, etc? To make the playing field even then all fighter should be able to supplement up to the 6:1 ratio if they choose too.

    Honestly I feel there should not be drug testing in combat sports. Androgens (steroids) are the ultimate supplement for this sport to put you in the right mindset. Recovery from injuries is probably the most beneficial benefit steroids offer, especially in older athletes. Steroids are good if used in a clinical manner. But that will never happen due to legal issues. You only suppose to be prescribed steroids for a medical condition.

    I’m all for older fighters like Dan Henderson using TRT to continue fighting into the twilight of his career. This is a hard working athlete who is a master of his sport. This is not a cheater or lazy athlete looking for a shortcut. When I say that Quinton Jackson comes to mind. I see him as a lazy, aging athlete looking for a shortcut.

  • They are tested by their doctor and that is THE REASON why they are giving TRT. It’s really not a age thing but a low testosterone thing. If you can prove after testing that your test levels are below normal then you are a candidate for TRT. Pretty simple actually.

  • Obarmarama

    This TRT thing is the biggest joke in mma. Seriously, the first I heard about it was when Chael Sonnen got caught after the Silva fight. I was shocked. Then Nate Marquadt. Then everybody, Hendo, Rapage, etc came out and admitted to using TRT, albeit “legally”. I felt like I was in an episode of Southpark or something. Here I was, impressed with all these great fighters, amazed at their bursts of superhuman aggression, power and skill, and all the while they were jackin it in their nutsacks. I don’t want to watch a sport where this is legal. Fighting should be totally natural, a fighter’s natural ability versus another. If he is a pussy without a jackin it into his nutsack, then what the ****** expletive am I doing watching his sorry ass fighting? I have no respect for these guys any more. Cut it out of the sport Dana you money worshipping whore. If things suffer for a while, that’s ok, the sport will be a true clean sport. Now we get all these doofuses “oh I was just bringing it up to normal levels, but the doctor accidentally pressed the “normal levels for king frikkin kong”. This sport is full of pressure, full of insecurity (thinking that somebody might be training harder or is better than you, or that you might look bad on national tv getting your ass kicked backwards). I was always impressed with Hendo’s confidence going into a fight, but I didn’t realise that was down to jacking it in his nuts. Your emotions, testosterone levels etc naturally fluctuate, they can drop below normal. So somebody not on TRT might not get that extra bounce when he goes into a fight that his opponent has. Cut it out completely. If you have low testosterone levels, too bad, you either use skill, or you quit, because the other guy is naturally better than you. Man all these people asking “how come Rampage used to be so good in pride. He has lost his edge. He used to pick people up and slam them”. Urrm it was roid rage, because they never used to test them, and no doubt he was jackin it in the nuts for extra measure. The whole thing is a farce, get rid of these douches, and enter them into a new fight organisation where we can all enjoy roid raged super freaks with balls the size of frozen peas smash each other into particles.

  • bonkerstheclownmcpickle

    There is a very good reason why the UFC doesn’t conduct their own drug testing. Imagine a world where Don King and Bob Arum are in charge of getting their fighters drug tested. You can bet those two crooks would juice their guys up like there is no tomorrow and then magically give them clean test results. That is what Dana White is trying to avoid and that is why he is quite pointedly leaving testing in the hands of state athletic commissions and other bodies that are not controllable by the UFC.

    As to the TRT bit, I completely disagree with Dana White. If Chael Sonnen or Dan Henderson juiced up earlier in their career. They damaged their own T production and they should have to live with it. They should take responsibility for their own stupidity and not just opt out via TRT. But if they are sure they want to allow TRT, then limit all fighters with a TUE to having average adult male T levels. If a fighter walks in anywhere from 1.5 to 10 times normal, he should be disciplined for using his “meds” as PED’s. That means holding acknowledged TRT users to a higher standard.

  • smill0313

    If you are on trt you should not be allowed to fight until after your ‘therapy’ is over and you have regular levels of testosterone. Also, if its “replacement ” therapy, why do they have elevated levels? Shouldn’t the therapy stop once the 1-1 ratio is reached? Trt is a joke and nothing more than a loop hole uesd to legally juice.

    • TKD

      So true!!!

  • Not every male has a 1:1 ratio. Some young guys could have 3:1 naturally or even 4:1, unlikely though. 6:1 is very forgiving but I understand why it’s set that high. That way you don’t have a lawsuit where the fighter proves he was 3:1 naturally if let’s say the ceiling was set at 2:1. So now that fighter may have won his grievance but his name is tainted as a drug user when that was never the case. I think the drug testing protocol is fine. No way the UFC would test it’s own fighters. Why? Let the 3rd party athletic commission do it and keep yourself out of the loop and more importantly blame. I understand Dana’s disdain for Overeem or any other fighters that fail when they have a big fight coming up. I think Overeem got off easy and he will still make big $ in the UFC and Zuffa/Dana will welcome him back with open arms. This is about $ folks.

    If you know the history of UFC, Strikeforce, etc then you will know the drama of Josh Barnett. Once Josh wins the HW tourney in Strike he will be the next HW contender after JDS and Mir fight. Most likely JDS will win of course and Josh will be the next contender. Dana doesn’t like Josh and Josh doesn’t like Dana. Dana has many reasons to not like Josh because of failed drug tests, stupid comments made by Josh, etc. Josh don’t give a fug about what Dana thinks and he could actually beat JDS or whoever has the HW belt this summer. Do you remember Josh tested positive for steroids again and bankrupted Affliction when he had a huge mega fight with Fedor? Josh grew up about 15 miles from me in the Seattle area so of course I’m a fan. I just hope he gets it together and doesn’t screw this last opportunity up!

    Check out this long list of caught juicers. Guess what, Royce Gracie is on the list…LOL> http://www.cagepotato.com/search/node/josh%20barnett%20steroids%20affliction

    • bonkerstheclownmcpickle

      “Not every male has a 1:1 ratio. Some young guys could have 3:1 naturally or even 4:1”

      About 99.5% of professional athletes are at or very close to 1:1. Moving up from there, you’re looking at increasingly smaller fractions of 0.5% of all athletes. The highest natural T/E ratio ever found to be naturally occurring was 6:1 — EXTREMELY RARE — but it has happened. I think they should set the bar at 2:1 and worry about the extremely rare exceptions after that. Afterall, if somebody proves that they are naturally 3:1 or 4:1 or 5:1 or 6:1, then the athletic commissions are going to: A.) Drop any suspension against said fighter. B.) Keep record of those fighters who happen to be T overproducing freaks of nature.

      I’m thinking that Daniel Cormier wins the SF tournament. That guys is a phenom and I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people out there. But if I’m wrong, it won’t be too surprising. Josh Barnett is an amazing fighter. No matter what happens, both men are coming to the UFC and will both be very successful there.

  • Dana is so full of (expletive).
    Every fighter should be tested 3 times prior to his fight. And every replacement fighter should be tested before being named a replacement. The fact is Dana doesn’t give a(expletive)if the game is clean, he cares about money period.
    TRT should be banned. Everyone isn’t suited to be an MMA fighter and that is just another reason someone shouldn’t be one. Fight as you are or don’t fight at all.
    This is a slippery slope argument as allowing some forms of cheating while banning other forms sends you sliding down the slope pretty quickly.
    (expletive)(expletive)(expletive) Dana and his(expletive) expletive).

  • MikeMc1983

    I’m not a professional fighter, but I take testosterone. Before I was taking it I was in pretty bad shape. I’d fall asleep driving. I’d fall asleep standing up. It caused a ton of issues for me. However, I was a pretty dramatic case.
    There very well maybe fighters taking advantage of it. I’m pretty sure there is. But trt can be neccisary for people to live a normal life.
    I never took roids before, and we can be sure why I had the problem to begin with. I’ve been pretty athletic my entire life.

    No one should have to live an unhealthy life because they want to be a fighter, and people think guys might take advantage.

    People also need to get over thinking that taking roids, or testosterone is a superman drug. You don’t pop a pill, rub a cream, or shoot up and become superman.

  • jpgagne

    Adress the problem… like mailing it or something?

  • MikeMc1983

    Address the problem. He means he’s going to give then a location to use.