The initial response across the mixed martial arts (MMA) community when it was revealed that former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson Silva had failed a pre-fight drug test prior to his victory over Nick Diaz at UFC 183 for performance enhancing drugs (PED), was complete and utter shock.
Among those surprised to hear the news "The Spider" failed for anabolic steroids was former longtime UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. If you recall, part of the reason "GSP" left the sport of MMA was due to the rampant drug testing issues.
"Like everyone else, I was surprised when I heard the news."
"I don't wish them any ill will; it's terrible what happened to Anderson Silva - to his career, and also to him physically. It's not my intention to bash anyone, either. I'm not a rat and I'll never go public and name names to reporters. My only hope is that we deal with this [PED] problem. I hope if one thing comes out of this, it's that testing will be done more stringently."
"I really don't know [if this will prompt the UFC to increase out-of-competition drug testing]. Maybe nothing will change. It depends on a lot of people."
St-Pierre himself attempted to ramp up drug testing procedures late in his career, but after the UFC 167 drug testing debacle with Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA)/World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), "GSP" opted to simply take a sabbatical from the sport -- which is looking more like retirement as the days continue to slip by.
With fighters seemingly failing drug tests in each successive event, the epidemic must be nipped in the bud by UFC and athletic commissions across the country if the sport is to have any credibility moving forward.
This is not the first -- nor the last -- time a fighter will test positive for some sort of banned substance, but as "GSP" indicated, it is time for more stringent testing and harsher punishments in order to curb the issue at hand.
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