Victor Conte: Around 50% of MMA fighters on PEDs

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Controversial disgraced former steroid distributor turned anti-doping crusader Victor Conte recently appeared on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” and made some controversial statements about PED use in MMA.

Earlier this year Conte made nearly identical charges about Major League Baseball.

Conte told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale that “as much as half” of current MLB players are using performance-enhancing drugs of some kind.

“I’m not going to name names,” said Conte, “but I’ve talked to a lot of top players in Major League Baseball, and they tell me this is what they’re doing. There is rampant use of synthetic testosterone in Major League Baseball.”

Needless to say, MLB disagrees with Conte’s estimates.

“There is no way that Victor Conte would have information that would allow him to have any basis on that,” MLB vice president Rob Manfred said. “He’s just making that up. It’s a guess. We use the very best, most sophisticated methodologies that are available.”

Given the evidence presented, many in MMA will disagree with the 50% estimate for MMA as well.

“From total of all performance-enhancing drugs, it’s in the neighborhood of 50 percent,” Conte told Rogan about PED use in MMA.

“Here’s what I was told – I don’t want to create more multi-million dollar lawsuits against me, but here’s the story that I was told – [former partner Patrick Arnold] sold a whole bunch of [tetrahydrogestrinone, also known as ‘The Clear’], like a gallon, to Bob Sapp, K-1 fighter,” Conte said. “My understanding is this stuff was all over the NFL. I guess during this time he was out of the NFL, and there was a period of time when he played in the Canadian (Football) League before he went to Japan to do the K-1 fighting, but the point is this stuff was very widely distributed, was my understanding.”

What makes Conte think as many as half of the sport’s athletes aren’t clean? Conte’s June speech at the Association of Ringside Physicians’ 2012 Annual Medical Seminar may provide an answer.

“I talk to a lot of athletes out there about who’s doing what,” Conte said in June. “They’re frank with me, partly because it’s a two-way street. Give an example: One of the top MMA training centers in Northern California that has a number of UFC fighters, and I asked the owner of the facility and the head trainer what percentage of his athletes – the 16 UFC athletes that he had – were using drugs because he was asking me to help some of his athletes, and I said, ‘Well, I can’t help athletes that are using drugs.’

“He wrote a list out. Long story short, eight out of the 16 were using performance-enhancing drugs. So, I think this is a small sample size, but I think these are all some of the top fighters in the UFC, so I think it is rampant.”

Conte did not specifically name the camp he was describing.

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Listen to entire interview…