UFC welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre may not have fully ventured to his dark places, but he did step a little into the grey when he offered some critical words toward the UFC on Wednesday.
St. Pierre had hoped that both he and UFC 167 opponent Johny Hendricks would use the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) program for drug testing for their November 16 fight. Things haven’t worked that way, and St. Pierre is flying solo with VADA as fight night nears. That fact that has left the long-time champion “very disappointed” in the people that sign his paychecks.
St. Pierre’s request for VADA testing had originally been accepted by Hendricks, but things fell apart in September after a great deal of distrust and finger pointing took over what should have been a very simple process.
As things stand right now, St. Pierre will follow the VADA testing and Hendricks will be tested under the Nevada State Athletic Commission protocol. Or as UFC president Dana White likes to refer to that testing, “government testing.”
St-Pierre, speaking to La Presse, seemed less than happy that the UFC did not get involved in his desire to use VADA:
The only thing is that I do not know if they (UFC) are willing to support me. I thought they were ready to support me, but I was disappointed, very disappointed with this turn of events.
There are things I can not say. I do not want to get back to the UFC because it is my employer. However, I do not take journalists for idiots. They are able to read between the lines. They are able to see what happens.
St. Pierre is seemingly holding back some of his more honest feelings, but the fact that the welterweight champion, who is always careful in choosing his words, would offer even mild disdain for the way the UFC handled the situation is significant.
UFC president Dana White has always been quick (and loud) to point out that the government tests the fighters, and he seems more than happy to let that process continue. In August, he called St. Pierre’s VADA testing wishes, and that fact that St-Pierre was willing to go into his own pocket to get the testing done, “a little weird.”
That government testing line may fly in places like Nevada and New Jersey that have respected athletic commissions, but what about in other states, like say, Wisconsin?
Ben Rothwell was suspended after his post-UFC 164 drug test revealed elevated levels of testosterone. That fight took place in Milwaukee, but the suspension did not come from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, it came from the UFC.
The reason that the UFC suspended Rothwell was because the government, in this case the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services was going to do nothing more than hit Rothwell with an administrative warning for his failed test. Basically, leaving a not in his file, a slap on the wrist, at best.
In short, the government testing that White is usually so quick to talk about as being “better than everyone else’s”, failed when it came to Rockwell, and the UFC had to step in to suspend a fighter.
The UFC now has an example of the vaunted government testing process failing. Couple that with one of its biggest stars offering critical words toward the promotions stance on drug testing, and maybe the UFC is getting close to a tipping point where they will have to do more than rely on “the government” to drug test its fighters.
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