Out-Of-Competition Drug Testing In Nevada

January 30, 2009

The Nevada State Athletic Commission did not test any fighters on the UFC 94 card as part of its out-of-competition drug-testing program.

In addition, there were no fighters subjected to the out-of-competition drug-testing program who competed on the WEC event on Dec. 3, or on the UFC events on Dec.13 and Dec. 27.

All four events took place in Nevada and fall under the NSAC’s jurisdiction.

When asked earlier in January if any fighters on the Jan. 31 card had been tested as part of the NSAC’s out-of-competition drug testing program, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer replied, “Not yet.” Earlier this week, on Jan. 28, he confirmed that no UFC 94 fighters had been tested at that point.

There will, of course, be fighters subjected to the usual event specific drug testing, even though there has been no out-of-competition testing.

The out-of-competition drug testing program allows the NSAC to order random drug tests at any time on any fighter that the NSAC licenses as a mixed martial artist, boxer, or kickboxer.

Like many other major sports, this out-of-competition drug testing is in addition to day-of-competition drug testing. When athletes know the exact date of an upcoming drug test ahead of time, there are many options to use illegal substances, but still find a way to mask the substances in the testing process to avoid a positive result.

The random out-of-competition drug-testing program is seen as a way to detect the use of banned substances during training camps and at other times that would be more difficult for an athlete to mask results.

A total of fourteen fighters (some boxers, some mixed martial artists) whose fights were scheduled between Feb. 1, 2008 and Oct. 31, 2008, were tested as part of the out-of-competition drug-testing program, which was announced at the beginning of the year.

In the weeks prior to UFC 91 in November, 10 fighters from that event were tested as part of the program, and all of them passed their tests.

The Ring Magazine Online recently reported that fighters in Nevada have two days to take an NSAC-ordered drug test.

The Ring’s Mark Zeigler wrote, “Here’s how it works: The commission contacts a licensed fighter, notifies him he has been selected for an out-of-competition test and provides instructions about locating the nearest accredited laboratory. The lab is also contacted, and the fighter has two days to show up, present photo identification and submit a urine test. Here’s the problem: Two days is ample time for someone to flush their system of many banned substances.”

The NSAC’s Keith Kizer confirmed that fighters do have two days to take an out-of-competition drug test from the time that they are notified, but added that this is subject to change.