The level of drug testing for UFC events in the United States is often a point of sharp criticism, pundits always calling on the promotion and athletic commissions to do more to weed out the rule breakers.
But what happens when the UFC steps outside of its home country?
Many locations around the world don’t have a regulatory body to oversee the events, and when they do, often aren’t quite up to speed with what we’re used to in the U.S.
Case in point is Ontario, the province where UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort is being held on Saturday night. Ontario has an athletic commission, but just two years into its being has yet to catch up on drug testing. The Ontario commission does not institute its own drug testing.
As is the case with other locals that don’t have a regulatory body providing for drug testing, the UFC will institute its own.
“We will be drug testing the championship fights – we always do – and randomly, other fighters on the card,” said Tom Wright, UFC Canada’s director of operations.
“We’ve contracted with a third party independent, but approved, drug testing facility and we will be doing those testings through the Ontario Athletic Commission. The athletic commission itself won’t be doing them, but we’ll be doing them through that.”
It’s not a perfect scenario when it comes to transparency, but the UFC has chosen to at least contract for independent testing where regulatory body testing is unavailable. It’s an important step standard to uphold for a sport that is still struggling to gain worldwide mainstream acceptance.
“When the results come back, if there are any issues,” Wright continued, “they will be provided to us; we’ll provide them to the Ontario Athletic Commission for them to issue any sanctions that they may desire.”
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