Question marks have always loomed over the use of performance-enhancing drugs in mixed martial arts. It was common to hear fighters claim that as much as 90 percent of athletes were using illegal substances, and whilst that once seemed outlandish, given the recent surge of positive drug tests, fans are becoming increasingly skeptical over the legitimacy of their favorite fighters.
Anderson Silva sent shock waves throughout the MMA community after it was revealed he tested positive for steroids after his clash with Nick Diaz at UFC 183. Diaz, a previous offender, also tested positive for marijuana metabolites – both men will stand before the Nevada State Athletic Commission in August.
Silva’s steroid scandal, Jon Jones’ cocaine bust, and a host of other fighters caught using performance-enhancing drugs prompted the UFC to overhaul their drug testing program. The changes, which went into effect on July 1st, will include year-round random drug tests for all fighters on the UFC roster and increased punishments for those found guilty of using PED’s.
According to women’s star Ronda Rousey, it was ‘so easy’ for fighters to find loopholes in the system and cheat before the UFC partnered with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
“I know when I first came to MMA and I saw the drastic difference between the U.S. Anti-Doping and the professional MMA doping, I was just like, it is so easy to cheat. I was shocked,” Rousey said to MMAFighting on Thursday. Now it’s at a point where it’s like, okay, finally. It’s not like someone hands you a cup and is like, ‘go in that room over there and just come back with something.’ And I’d be like, ‘how is that even…?'”
The reigning bantamweight champion revealed that she has been tested three times prior to UFC 190: one test for blood and urine and two further separate urine tests.
“Once with blood and urine, and twice with urine,” Rousey said. “I love that we’re with USADA, the U.S. Anti-Doping, because I actually had the same lady who used to come and drug test me since I was like 14 to 21. She would just show up at my house, like ‘hey!’ Almost like, ‘oh, welcome! Come hang out and watch me pee!’ So you know, a different kind of familiarity, and it makes me feel so much better because I know that the testing is being done properly.”
Ronda Rousey is scheduled to defend her bantamweight title for the sixth time against undefeated Brazilian, Bethe Correia in the main event at UFC 190. ‘Rowdy’ will defend her strap on foreign soil at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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