The UFC and Strikeforce earlier this week held their fourth Fighter Summit in Las Vegas where company officials and special guests worked to educate fighters on a number of issues from health insurance to dealing with the press to social media and numerous other topics.
One of the key points hit on at the Fighter Summit was the UFC’s new formalized written policy against performance enhancing drugs and other banned substances.
Lawrence Epstein, the company’s Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, explained the written policy is a continuation of existing policy, and that both promotions will follow guidelines drafted by the same law firm that advises the National Football League on PEDs.
“It is important to continue educating our athletes on the dangers of PEDs and other banned substances,” said Epstein. “Additionally, no new UFC or Strikeforce promotional agreement will become effective before the athlete has provided a clean PED test result.
“PED and banned substance usage harms the integrity of sport, potentially compromises the safety of our athletes, raises concerns for both short and long-term health issues and sends an improper message to our fanbase. We will continue to be at the forefront of this issue. And we will continue to work with Athletic Commissions and other bodies to ensure – to the fullest extent possible – that testing procedure keep pace with scientific advancements regarding the identification and detection of prohibited substances.”
The promotions’ medical consultant, Dr. Jeff Davidson, then spoke to the athletes about both the short and long-term medical effects of PEDs. Dr. Davidson discussed the topical Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Keith Kizer, the Executive Director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, detailed the laws and regulations pertaining to PEDs and TRT.
The UFC has been under heavy scrutiny over how it deals with fighters and drug testing over the past year with detractors constantly saying that the company can do more. A written policy doesn’t constitute the stringent out-of-competition random testing that is often lobbed at UFC president Dana White, but it does provide a clear policy in regards to an athlete’s responsibility when it comes to drug use and what the company will or won’t tolerate.