Kennedy: I really believe around 60-70% of UFC fighters are on PEDs

July 11, 2014

Tim Kennedy, 34, is taking a stand against PEDs in mixed martial arts, and it could cost him. He made the announcement via social networks.

Tim Kennedy @TimKennedyMMA
•I'm fighting Sept. 27th in Las Vegas against Yoel Romero. ;-)
•I am not going to fight again unless my opponent and myself are being drug tested (random). #UFC #PED #TRT #EPO #HGH*
•Asking for random drug tests has nothing to do with Romero. It has to do with the current state of MMA. #PED #TRT #EPO #HGH #UFC
These "random" drug tests truly aren't random. You are in a fight camp, you know you are going to be tested, and you agreed to the test.
•Imagine that. Another random drug test, another failed drug test.

Ben Fowlkes ‏@benfowlkesMMA
Okay, but *now* they've all been caught, right?

Tim Kennedy ‏@TimKennedyMMA
I can give you a list of about 50 guys I know are dirty.... Sooooo.... Hell NO!!!

Ben Fowlkes @benfowlkesMMA
Hold on, let me get a pen.

The UFC middleweight, who fights Yoel Romero at UFC 178 on Sept. 27 in Las Vegas, wants out of competition testing for himself and for his opponent, and doesn't want to fight without it. Kennedy requested that the fight be in Nevada, as the Nevada Athletic Commission has several times done surprise out of competition tests, with results that are altering the face of the game.

Cost of a thorough test regimen throughout a camp are $10,000 to $35,000 per fight, and Kennedy is willing to pay half the costs.

Kennedy is taking the step after a series fighter failed surprise tests administered by the NSAC. Chael Sonnen failed twice, and retired; he was also dropped by FOX and the UFC as a color commentator. Wanderlei Silva physically ran from a test, and will in all likelihood be suspended for a year. And Vitor Belfort was on admittedly on TRT before having applied for a license with the NSAC to do so; his case remains to be settled.

“Whatever it takes to ensure we are moving toward having a clean sport, which we are nowhere near right now,” Kennedy told Brett Okamato for ESPN.com. “Something has to change.”

“They randomly test three dudes and all three fail. All in my weight class. All dudes I could potentially be fighting. I went from just being vocal about drug use, to saying to myself, ‘I have to make a stand about this.’”

“I’m really impressed in the change in both the climate and the UFC’s perception of it. The UFC is forking over money for testing, so it’s been top-driven, which makes me proud to be in the UFC. They are really the only organization that is doing it and it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

“But the first time [the NSAC] randomly tested people, everybody failed. Imagine what that looks like across 450 athletes. Are we talking 60 or 70 percent? I really believe it’s somewhere in that range of fighters that are using.”

According to Kennedy’s manager, Leo Khorolinsky, UFC heavyweight Andrei Arlovski, also a client of Khorolinsky's, will be requesting the same out of competition testing for his fight with Antonio Silva on Sept 13 in Brazil. The regulating body in Brazil, Comissão Atlética Brasileira de MMA, is not likely to have the resources for out of competition testing on another continent. Thus the solution may have to come from the UFC. They are expected to make an announcement in this regard at the Association of Boxing Commissions convention in two weeks.

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*Kennedy is contractually obligated to fight Romero. Speaking immediately, the line was more rhetorical that factual, to illustrate how serious Kennedy is about the issue.