Dana White Drug Testing: Fighters Smoking Pot, Says UFC President
Dana White's take on drug testing? Don't do it, the UFC President says.
"Do you know how many guys would probably test positive for marijuana?" White told reporters at the MGM Grand on Thursday. "It would be probably off the charts."
White, who has been president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2002, said that so many of his fighters are smoking pot that almost all of the 475 contracted fighters would be disqualified. As a result, he's urging athletic commissions around the country to give up the idea of year-round, random drug testing.
Recently there's been growing concern about increased use of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) in the UFC. But White is extremely concerned that testing for PED would yield countless positive results for pot.
"If you randomly test them and then [the results] came out, you'd get the exact same suspension [for using marijuana] as you do for using PEDs," White said.. Nevertheless there's been more talk about the subject since the Nevada Athletic Commission discovered five drug-related offenses in boxing and mixed martial arts in November and December after Executive Director Keith Kizer requested more testing.
UFC 155 will take place on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden, and Kizer plans to randomly screen some of the fighters, which could include heavyweight-title fighters Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez.
White has long been outspoken on the subject of performance-enhancing drugs. And in the spring he promised that he would deal with the widespread use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) saying: "I know this is a very touchy subject and everybody has different opinions on it, but I actually think that it's great that technology has this thing now where guys have made mistakes, they messed up, they used steroids when they were younger, and all this other stuff, that this testosterone replacement therapy can actually help people who need it," White said recently.
"Then you get into a situation now where as in everything, you get guys who are out there doing it when they don't need to do it, and they're doing it to enhance their performance and it pisses me off. It really, really pisses me off."
Nevertheless, the always-outspoken White insists that penalties for marijuana use shouldn't be the same as penalties for PED use. "I don't even smoke marijuana, but it's [expletive] illegal and you shouldn't do it," White said. "OK? But the guys are going to get busted [for testing positive for marijuana] and they're going to get the same suspension they would for a PED. When you take a performance-enhancing drug and you go in and you face another fighter, you can hurt him. You know what I mean?"
White admits that problems are everywhere, and that the solution isn't simple. "But [giving fighters similar suspensions for using both PEDs and marijuana] is just crazy. It's so easy to sit there and say, 'Here's what you should do. Here's how you fix it,' but there are so many flaws in the system, it's just not that easy. It's not just, 'Hey, let's sign up this company [to do testing].' There's a whole [expletive] of things that would come about."
"Everybody thinks that if you did this random testing you'd catch so many guys on PEDs," White said. "No. You'd catch more of the guys on marijuana. That's where you'd really bust a lot of guys. ... We have 475 guys under contract and probably 400 of them would be out with marijuana."
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