Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin will fight at The Ultimate Fighter finale on Dec 15 in Las Vegas, following a season of coaching opposing teams.
Roy Nelson recently posted a press release apparently from the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) saying they wanted to drug test both main event fighters.
"A heated rivalry between two of the sports hardest-hitting heavyweights will be settled on Saturday, Dec. 15. Dr. Margaret Goodman and the Voluntary Anti Doping Association (VADA) is offering their service to Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin to clean up the black eye in combat sports with it's testing for performance enhancing drugs. Roy Nelson has already signed on with VADA and now awaiting Shane Carwin's commitment."
Nelson's representative Mike Kogan emailed Carwin, his management, and media members a message that Nelson had secured VADA sponsorship for the Dec. fight.
"As you know you Shane and Roy are leader and looked up to in the sport of MMA. That is why it essential for young athletes to know how dangerous and PEDs usage is in any sport. This why they will take the first step to cleaning up and leading the charge in MMA."
TheScore reported that Nelson confirmed Carwin's participation during a media meet and greet.
At first glance, this seemed like a positive step for MMA.
Then it began to unravel.
Carwin's manager Jason Genet noted Carwin's camp had not in fact been contacted by VADA, questioned VADA's bias, and questioned VADA's competency.
"Our office has not been contacted and you can contact us or Shane right through his website," said Genet. "He even tweeted his phone number so it is not like we are avoiding anyone's call."
"The only time I heard of VADA was when they posted their story making false and defamatory comments about Shane. They removed the article. They are a bully not a valid independent regulatory body."
"There's a conflict when VADA takes the position that they're anti-Shane, but they want to invite him in for an independent test. On what basis does it make their test valid?"
Genet's remarks referred to an inept, preposterous, and inexcusably offensive article that had appeared on the VADA website:
UFC: Swept Under The Rug - Shane Carwin On Steroids
Shane Bannister Carwin, age 37, from Greeley, Colorado, had burst onto the mixed martial arts scene back in May of 2008. And, like some Brama-Bull that had been let-loose inside an octagon-shaped-china-shop, Carwin—who had virtually zero prior mma experience, quickly destroyed such notables as Christian Wellisch, Neil Wain, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Frank Mir, all within the first-round and all with one-punch destruction.
Suddenly, at UFC 116, on July 3, 2010, Carwin—who looked like the poster boy for PED's—found himself in a title-shot opportunity with former WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar who was champion at the time. And although he was doing well in the match-up and beating Lesnar virtually senseless in the first round, instead of mercilessly stopping the contest, the referee in charge, Josh Rosenthall, let the beating go on.
In the second round however, whether it was due to steroids, or just plain fatigue, Carwin emerged like a rag-doll on roller skates—beaten by his own heavily muscular body, and perhaps also an undisciplined lack of conditioning.
Nonetheless, Lesnar threw Carwin to the mat and sunk in an old time wrestling choke, and it was all over..Carwin tapped. The fight with Lesnar was in July 2010, and in August the scandal happened.
Silence for months...soon followed.
Then, out of nowhere, recently, at UFC 131 on June 11, 2011, a thinner, less muscular Carwin emerged, this time he was seemingly devoid of PED's, and as a result, he was severely beaten by current UFC heavyweight champ, Junior Dos Santos.
Two whole years have passed now since the scandal that never was happened. And, it seems, nowadays, that UFC president Dana White would like us to forget and forgive Carwin for cheating and breaking the rules back in the summer of 2010.
On Thursday July 12th 2012, Dana White announced that Carwin and fellow heavyweight, Roy Nelson will appear as the next Coaches for the 16th season of 'The Ultimate Fighter;' and will then fight each-other at a later date.
Unlike other sports—where Athletes are using PED's—combat sports is different in that fighters aren't merely hitting an inanimate object—such as a stitched-up piece of cork and horse-hide—their target is a real one. It's a delicate human skull with a brain inside. Under those terms, someone may be killed very easily.
And what exactly can Carwin offer to young men of "The Ultimate Fighter?"
The proper way to use a syringe perhaps?
Genet offered a detailed and compelling refutation of the defamatory piece:
"I 100% support cleaning up the sport," wrote Genet. "I feel that PEDs and TUEs (without full disclosure) are going to do unrepairable damage to the sport as a whole. On that same note "journalism" like this sponsored, paid for and supported by an alleged "independent" testing organization raises many questions about the agencies' agenda. When we agreed to fight Roy we knew part of his gimmick would be to bring VADA into the fold. We knew Roy and VADA are friendly so we expected them to approach us about independent testing. However, in light of this article we now feel that VADA could not be trusted as a truly independent testing agency. This article clearly shows they have ulterior motives.
"Upon joining the UFC Shane has been tested for almost all of his fights. The only fight that he was not tested in was the Lesnar fight. That was because he was rushed to the hospital where blood was drawn if anyone needed to test it. My client was insisting on being tested before being transported. Being a clean fighter is that important to him. Before the UFC my client was tested in his NCAA Senior Bowl trip, the multiple NCAA Championship games in football, the NFL Combine, NCAA Wrestling Finals (twice, once before the Combine and once after) and recently while applying for life insurance through his job. Being a County employee he has to submit to random test on the job to be issued his work truck and be covered by insurance. I might argue that he is tested and passed more drug screens then any current UFC fighter and most parolees.
"VADA missed a great opportunity to be associated with a great athlete. They choose to sensationalize and create a story when they are allegedly one of the few outlets in the world that could prove if my client was doping or not. They chose defamation of character rather then science. They get to live with that choice. As we prepare to face Roy in December the UFC and the ACs have the right to test my client any time leading up to the fight and post fight. The UFC alone test more of its athletes than any other sport and we look forward to continuing passing any test given they wish to give. We do not see VADA as a credible testing resource. To me they are like the Unions that are picking on MMA, it is not about MMA it is about the money being made by Zuffa. They want their piece of it and are willing to trash the sport and athletes to get it."
The article has since been removed from the VADA website. Genet offers further details.
"According to Dr. Goodman, it was pulled because it was defamatory," explained Genet. "She claims to have no knowledge of who wrote it and fired the intern who posted it. It was not posted as a story from elsewhere. It was placed in full form under VADA news. At that time they were working with Roy."
Further, VADA told BloodyElbow they did not write the original "press release" that appeared on RoyNelson.com, and do not know who did. Nelson apparently had however submitted an application to take part in VADA testing for his next fight.
The original "press release" has since been removed from Nelson's site.
The union reference above by Genet may be related to an interview with FCFighter earlier this year in which Dr. Goodman was quoted as saying VADA is a means to MMA unionization.
"I strongly believe that irrespective of any federal oversight, MMA fighters need a union– a way for them to look out for themselves," said Dr. Goodman. "VADA is one way for them to accomplish this goal, or at the very least, develop the right mind set.”
Genet has a different take on the effort.
"To me, it looks like VADA is another opportunistic organization that's come along within the sport of MMA to somehow make themselves relevant," Genet said. "I'm questioning where the relevancy coming from. As a manager, it's not that I wouldn't agree with outside testing. I want to know what's wrong with what's currently taking place.
"They should be attending every commission meeting having conversations with those people, not trying to bully fighters and wage a war in public opinion."