Surprise! NSAC hits Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger with 'enhanced' drug test in Baltimore

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) is continuing its assault on the drug problem in mixed martial arts (MMA) by implementing an enhanced drug testing program ahead of UFC 173.

After becoming the first state to ban testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in mixed martial arts (MMA), Nevada is upping its attack in its war on drugs in combat sports.

ESPN is reporting that the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) is implementing an enhanced drug testing program ahead of UFC 173, which goes down on May 24, 2014, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

And the first two fighters selected to take part in the new program are Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger.

According to NSAC Chairman Fransisco Aguilar, the new procedures will be the norm moving forward for all the upcoming major fights in both boxing and MMA.

"This is going to become the norm for all major fights in Las Vegas, both boxing and mixed martial arts," Aguilar said. "It lets everyone who is going to fight in Nevada know they have the chance to participate in an enhanced process."

The new testing will include taking urine and blood samples as well as Carbon Isotope Ratio testing. And as Aguilar states, testing will be done when the commission sees fit, with no advance warning for fighters.

"We are no longer going to just test fight night or post-fight. We're going to test depending on how we feel as a commission."

MMA, however, is not the first sport to take part in the enhanced testing, as Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley were subject to it prior to their rematch earlier this month.

Because the price tag for said procedures will be anywhere from $35,000 to $45,000, not every fighter on every card will be subject to it.

"Here's the thing," Aguilar said. "This should be the standard for every fight and I wish we could do it for every bout on every card, but it's not cost efficient. We have to determine how to be strategic and how we run the program."

According to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) CEO, Lorenzo Fertitta, his company -- which will be responsible for picking up the tab -- "fully supports" the new policies set forth by the NSAC.

As the report states, Ellenberger and Lawler -- who have never tested positive for any banned substance -- were tested last week while both men were in Baltimore, Maryland for UFC 172.

The latest step in the war on drugs is indeed a positive one, as both the NSAC and UFC, attempt to rid the sport of drugs, once and for all.

Somewhere in Canada, Georges St. Pierre is smiling.

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