Steve Seivert over at the Houston Chronicle is reporting that out of the combined 38 fighters on the UFC 69 and UFC 70 cards, not one of them was tested for banned or illegal substances.
That's because in both situations the UFC was responsible as the "sanctioning body" to administer the tests. And, as Seivert points out, "It did not."
Of course, in states such as Nevada and California, the drug testing is performed by the state athletic commissions.
But, apparently in The Lone Star State, that's not the case.
Here's a snip from a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation spokesperson:
"We have the authority to order drug testing, but did not for that event. Our rules didn't anticipate a structure like this (where there is no sanctioning body for an event)."
Doesn't make much sense if you ask me.
Here's what UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Marc Ratner, had to say:
"It was my understanding that they were testing the main event. I think maybe there was some confusion. Maybe they felt we were the sanctioning body and promoter all in one. When we went in there, we went strictly as the promoter. We can't be judge and jury. We would have no authority to discipline the fighters."
There seems to be a lot of finger pointing, with no one wanting to take responsibility for the apparent "oversight."
And a rather large one, considering the positive tests that have been returning lately such as Thiago Alves, Diego Sanchez, Nick Diaz (PRIDE FC) and Stephan Bonnar to name just a few.
Making this situation even more alarming is that not one fighter on the "Nations Collide" card in Manchester, England, wasn't required to submit a urine sample. In short, UFC 69 wasn't just an isolated incident.
Another snip from Ratner:
"We were ordering tests, but found we had no legal means to do it. They had no commission there. There was no drug testing there."
I'm not even going to try and wrap this up in my own words, because Seivert has already done a fine job.
Here's a mash of his analysis:
"In its current form, drug testing in mixed martial arts doesn't work, and the lack of uniform testing could further undermine a sport that's still outlawed in more than half the states in the U.S. ... The UFC has pushed a lot of right buttons in helping to legitimize mixed martial arts and gain a level of respect for the sport's fighters that was unthinkable just a few years ago. However, the promotion needs to do better with the drug-testing issue before it does more damage to the sport. The major professional sports leagues test their athletes for drugs. Why can't the UFC do the same?"