Fertitta calls for random testing by ACs, UFC will pay

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ZUFFA CEO Lorenzo Fertitta sat down with ESPN's Brett Okamoto, and called for more random drug testing in MMA by the regulating bodies, and said he is even willing to pay for it. Further, Fertitta, a former regulator himself, explained he is not in favor of the UFC assuming that role. He is also not in favor of VADA or WADA handling testing in MMA.

The UFC in fact has already paid for several out of competition tests administered by the NSAC.

“I think we have to understand at the end of the day we are unlike other sports,” said Fertitta. “We are regulated and cannot be presumptuous in thinking we can just take away whatever authority [commissions] have and put it in our hands. It’s not that simple. 

“You have to understand how state regulatory systems work. You have to work in conjunction with them. They issue us a license in order to promote events. It’s not like we’re putting on events on our own. We’re under their jurisdiction.” 

“VADA has no jurisdiction over a fight. Whether a fight takes place, suspensions, a fighter license — it’s all relative to the commission. I don’t want to put words in their mouth, but they don’t want to be in a situation where a third party has done testing, they have no idea what happened and are then put in a position where they have to render a decision on something they had nothing to do with. 

“The commission is more than willing to test for whatever. Georges just wants to make sure they are adhering to the level of a VADA, which I think clearly can be put into place. That’s not a problem.” 

The UFC self regulates for international bouts, and could do out of competition testing in that circumstance.

“We’re looking at all of those different options,” said Ferttita said. “We’re embracing whatever we can do to rid the sport of any performance-enhancing drug. It’s not like we haven’t caught people cheating in the past during fights we’ve unfortunately had to fill that role of regulator. When we go to these international territories, we’ve caught a number of people and they’ve been punished severely. 

“[Random testing] is happening now. [The NSAC] just tested Vitor and I read they tested Palhares. It’s happening. I don’t know what else people want to do. You can’t have somebody standing outside every MMA fighter’s door, asking them to take a test. There’s only so much you can do, and I think they’ve done a pretty good job of grasping this.”

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