Close to a year ago, UFC heavyweight contender Overeem famously failed a surprise test for performance enhancing drugs administed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). It was administered immediately before a news conference announcing a title fight with then UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos.
Yahoo's Kevin Iole says the example of Alistair Overeem presents an opportunity for a new precedent in mixed martial arts when a fighter tests positive for PEDs.
Keith Kizer, the executive director of the NSAC, deserves a huge amount of credit not only for ordering the random test that caught Overeem but then for subsequently testing Overeem repeatedly during his commission-imposed suspension.
Overeem was testing himself throughout his nine-month suspension and forwarding the results to Kizer and the commission. This is where Kizer made a brilliant move.
On several occasions, shortly after Overeem had voluntarily submitted a blood and urine sample to prove his innocence, Kizer ordered him to submit to another test. An athlete who uses PEDs will often use them right after he or she has passed a drug test. The thinking is that they'll be clear for a while and can cheat with impunity.
Overeem passed all of the tests. He rightfully was given his license by the commission on Tuesday via a unanimous vote.
Overeem will be tested rigorously by the NSAC for as long as he fights in the state. Hopefully, other state athletic commissions will do the same and put Overeem through a rigorous testing process that includes unannounced tests.
A precedent should be set. Overeem, and every fighter who tests positive for PEDs in the future, should have to do the same thing:
Commissions that consider licensing Overeem should require him to, at his own expense, submit to a carbon isotope ratio test that would be administered randomly during his training camp. The CIR test, which is the only foolproof way to catch usage of synthetic testosterone, is expensive, going for $450-$600 a test.
If they can't afford to pay for the tests, then they don't fight – a hefty price to pay, but safety dictates an abundance of caution.
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Alistair Overeem fghts Antonio "Big Foot" Silva at UFC 156 on February 2 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.