The role of drug testing has come under the spotlight quite a bit in the last few months with several fighters testing positive for banned substances, while the controversial usage of TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) continues to permeate many news stories in the world of MMA.
For all the chatter about the cheaters or philosophical debate about cheating, there are still fighters who want to clean up the use of performance enhancing drugs in MMA.
Count UFC 152 fighters B.J. Penn and Rory MacDonald as two fighters on that list as they have both signed on to do random drug testing ahead of their fight on Sept 22 in Toronto.
On Thursday, VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) released a statement that Penn had officially signed on with the group to participate in eight weeks of random blood and urine tests ahead of his fight with MacDonald.
“BJ Penn has enrolled in the VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) program and will undergo 8 weeks of random blood and urine testing for his UFC 152 bout taking place in Toronto, Canada on September 22, 2012. He has agreed that all test results will be immediately forwarded to the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions), the Ontario athletic commission (Office of the Athletics Commissioner), and the UFC,” the statement read released by VADA.
VADA has approached other fighters in the past including UFC 148 competitor Cung Le, and first offered the testing to Penn a few weeks ago. Now Penn has agreed and signed off on the testing procedures.
In addition, MacDonald has also agreed to the testing as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by his manager Lex McMahon of Alchemist Management.
The testing is independent of the UFC, although according to McMahon they are aware of the VADA testing being done with Penn and MacDonald ahead of UFC 152. UFC officials were unavailable for comment regarding the VADA testing.
This is the first time athletes in the UFC have agreed to undergo the VADA testing process.
VADA works with boxing and mixed martial arts to promote clean competition, and will be testing for a number of drugs and substances including any performance enhancing drugs such as steroids, diuretics or masking agents used to cover up usage, and blood doping to name a few.
The full list of banned substances can be found here on VADA’s website.
The testing will be conducted over the eight weeks leading into the fight when Penn meets MacDonald on the main card of UFC 152 in Toronto on Sept 22.