Yahoo! Sports Special: St-Pierre’s Decision to Leave Was Hastened by Stance on Drug Testing

January 15, 2014
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The following article was written by Kevin Iole and was originally published by official content partner Yahoo! Sports in its Cagewriter blog.

Georges St Pierre

Georges St-Pierre is the former UFC welterweight champion and not the reigning champion, in part he says because of the promotion’s stance toward testing for performance-enhancing drugs.

In a story by Julien Arsensault of the Canadian Press published almost exactly a month after St-Pierre vacated his title and announced he’d take a sabbatical, St-Pierre said that a lack of strenuous drug testing led in part to his decision to walk away on Dec. 13.

It bothered me greatly, [and] it was one of the reasons I decided to step aside

Prior to his fight at UFC 167 on Nov. 16 with Johny Hendricks, St-Pierre tried to get Hendricks to agree to random, unannounced drug testing. Hendricks initially agreed, then had a change of heart and did not. Hendricks wanted the testing to be administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency. St-Pierre had arranged the deal with the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. St-Pierre went through the testing himself and passed all of the tests he was given.

He’d said he felt the UFC didn’t support him in his efforts to implement the testing, which prompted UFC president Dana White to call the situation “weird” during an interview with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.

The whole thing was done very weird. And if he feels like we didn’t support him, I don’t know. The whole thing’s [expletive] weird. I haven’t talked to him about it. He’s very fired up about it because he went out and started this thing and it’s turned into a [expletive]. I get it. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to tell him. The whole [expletive] thing’s weird.

St-Pierre told the Canadian Press that he remains undecided about a return to the sport that he dominated for seven years. He said he would not make enhanced drug testing a condition of his return.

He spoke, though, if his efforts to implement the testing at UFC 167 was a failure. Both fighters passed the tests they were given.

I tried to change things, and unfortunately, maybe for money reasons, maybe for image, they were not ready to do that. I tried to [bring about] change in a very diplomatic way and it didn’t work so it’s unfortunate, but I believe it will happen sooner or later.

UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told Yahoo Sports Tuesday that he was “disappointed” to learn of St-Pierre’s comments. Fertitta said he wants to read all of the stories from the interview St-Pierre gave, and said he would then call St-Pierre to discuss it.

“We’ve always had an open line of communication with him and I’d like to know why he feels that way,” Fertitta said.

Fertitta said the UFC “has a very, very strong stance against any PEDs,” and said it would support whatever drug testing a state athletic commission would request of a UFC fighter.

Fertitta said that if a commission wanted to test UFC fighters both before and after a fight, he would be fully supportive of the effort.

He pointed to the fact that the UFC paid for enhanced testing for both Travis Browne and Josh Barnett prior to their bout at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas.

“It was extremely disappointing to hear Georges make those comments because I don’t think any organization has embraced drug testing as we have,” Fertitta said. “We have not only agreed to pay when the commission has said it wants to do enhanced testing, we’ve encouraged it. We have no problem with testing. When we serve as the commission [in areas out of the country where there is no commission], we test everyone on the card so we are thorough and there can be no claims of bias.

“Whatever a commission would want us to do in terms of testing, we would embrace it. We’ll do as many as they want. I think perhaps Georges’ people didn’t communicate to him in detail everything we’d do as they tried to arrange the testing for the fight with him and Johny.”

UFC executive Michael Mersch worked with Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, as St-Pierre and Hendricks tried to agree upon an enhanced testing protocol.

  • Yamada

    I’m sure they test Vitor in Brazil haha.

    • Peter

      Vitor shouldn’t even be fighting for the title its a shame but I will watch for free come the ppv online ahaha.

  • TheCerealKiller

    GSP for Nevada Athletic Commissioner!

    • Sir_Roy

      UFC CEO’s would simply threaten and have him chased out “mafia” style for not playing the game their way. Or Keith Kizer style if you prefer. ;P

  • Anthony Cefalo

    who cares if youre the best then youre the best, steroids dont make you a better fighter

    • RoBeRtOe

      Just like a warning track out is now a 10ft homer past the wall. Lucky punch dazed you, or now knocks you out. You’re an idiot.

    • Wolf Ticket

      Yes, every fighter on roids says to himself “I know this s*** don’t make me a better fighter, but I might fail the post fight test and lose all the money and sponsors and be suspended, so let’s do it!” Makes perfect sense.

  • Big Tuna

    Dana roids himself and never was a competition athlete of any kind…he could give a rats ass about drug testing.

    • Zip

      Spot on my friend. Dana looks silly with his roid, bloated, no neck, muscles out of nowhere look. He’s good for nothing other than raising PPV prices at a time when they should be going down.

      • dgs

        I’m real late to this discussion, but I could not agree more with your entire post. Very well said.

  • disqus_1vlWNfdPOM

    Just yesterday this was a conspiracy theory…

  • mr obvious

    dont make u a better fighter just like they ddnt make bonds a better hitter… phd they call them that cause the enhance ur performance duh!!!!

    • TheCerealKiller

      Increase your stamina, make you stronger, recover quicker… you are a fcuking retard!

      • taylor2008

        Why is he a fuking retard for saying that? I am 48 years old now and still train MMA and keep up with the young guys…and the ones on steroids. Doesnt help your skills in the least bit.

        • Jon Doe

          Being “Stronger, Faster and Recover” has everything to do with your performance as an athlete. A Jab that lands, turns into a Jab that snaps a mans head back, turns into a broken nose/fractured cheek bones and ultimately KO. (Koscheck/GSP 2) Pillow hands, turns into devastating striker. Imagine Nick Diaz “pepper shot” the terror he would inflict on people. Add Bisping, Cung Le, any volume puncher and suddenly they turn into…. guess who? Vitor Belfort

        • THeDON

          i knocked you out a few dont keep up wit anyone lol

          • taylor2008

            I doubt that very highly. But if you did get yourself up off the couch once in a while you would lose that baby fat.

  • Michael

    Steroids do make you better. It helps you recover quicker, work out harder, faster, more sessions during the day, and will make you so much stronger that your opponent will not be able to push you around in the clinch. now, it would not help me. I am not a pro and do it for exercise. these guys do befefit from it. no it wont make them pull an arm bar better. but it will sure make you able to pick the guy up like a paper weight and recover with no or little muscle fatigue in between rounds. so yes, it does help in a huge way. But GSP was not using. And Dana was an ass. if she had acted like a real boss and did all his bad mouthing behind doors, GSP might still be fighting. GSP got tired of it. and said here, shove it up your ass. but politely.

  • Mma Fanatic

    Amen to the last comment!

  • rapidfire

    FOX sport news reports:

    At one point, St-Pierre offered to pay for both to use the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association as an independent testing body, but Hendricks refused, saying he wanted to use the World Anti-Doping Agency, which sets international testing standards but does not actually conduct tests.

    so after all that talks by Hendricks how he would take a WADA test but the problem is they do not actually conduct tests?? I’m not even a GSP fan. but if this is true, Hendricks is piece of s*** for not taking the VADA test..

  • Cuntlick

    My question is, how many mma fighters are on drug. My guess is more than half. Let the debate begins…

  • solo

    Dope is a big problem in all of sports! GSP wanted to do something good for the sport, but fighters imo dont have alot of influence, if any.

    I believe there are other fighters out there who want to say something about this, but they’re probably scared of being fined.

  • El Gvapo

    How could you not agree to the doping tests? Surely if you were clean you would just agree to anything? Test you every day for three months if they wanted for example, it would make no difference if you were clean. But the fact that Hendricks refused the testing GSP was proposing just makes him look guilty. Anyone know Hendricks version of events?

    • Rum Runner

      I would disagree that Hendricks refusing to GSP’s demand makes him look guilty. I am sure he would agree to what the NSAC or UFC demands but why should he jump through his opponents hoops. Hendricks isn’t his bitch.

      • John

        The UFC would not demand it because they were trying to promote the knockout of GSP. Based on performance it is said that this is his weakness. They thought Hendricks could neutralize his takedown ability, which is what all “knockout artists” have said is preventing them from knocking out GSP. They would not test Hendricks because it was in their financial best interest. I still think Dana had money on Hendricks.

  • Jimmy Rebel

    GSP probably has undetectable drugs running through his system and wants to make sure he stays on top.

    • Sir_Roy

      Just like the undetectable elves and unicorns running rampant through your living room no doubt. Lol.

    • shannon

      Oh soo you mean all natural supplements then!!!

  • Jeff

    I have been expecting some Lance Armstrong revelations about GSP.
    That’s why he quit. Someone is blackmailing him I suspect.

    • MuayThaiFood

      Yeah, that makes perfect sense. The guy asking for more testing is the one doping. Good call Dope.

      • claudale

        calling for it now that he was gone after being tested so many times. I think he was probably clean his last fight (only) and that’s why he looked bad (and smaller).

        Hendricks offered to do high level drug testing where they could be retested for 7 years if newer technologies emerged. Why didn’t GSP agree to that?

  • bigdikwilly

    While not infallible, why not bring the sport under the umbrella of WADA rules… and let USADA (in the US at least) handle the in and out of competition testing? WADA (protocols) > VADA by a long shot.

  • GSP Fan

    I am and always will be a die hard GSP fan! He had every right to request the random test. No reason Hendricks wouldn’t adhere to this test if he was in fact clean! GSP it’s a true professional and a class act. Dana white it’s a total asshole for even maKing a negative comment about an athlete who dominated the sport and brought so much to this particular weight class. He’s the reason i love MAMA! I have no respect for Dana White our Hendricks.

  • Lawdog1521

    As soon as GSP agrees to be tested for Vaseline between every round I’ll take him seriously on his “no cheating” stance.