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5/2/14 11:50 AM
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MixedMartialArts.com
 

Fans reacted with disbelief when word came out that enhanced, out-of-competition testing comes to about $45,000 per fight.

So did ZUFFA CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.

“I’ll be honest, when they told me $45,000, I thought, like, they misspoke,” Fertitta told MMAJunkie's  Steven Marrocco. Fertitta noted that the costs are prohibitive to do them for each of the 500 fighters under contract, multiple times per year.

The costs are prohibitive for Athletic Commissions as well. The $45,000 for one fight is about 10% of the entire yearly budget for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. A single UFC card would break the years' budget.

Fertitta has made a commitment to underwrite the costs where Athletic Commissions think it is merited, but are unable to foot the bill. So far they have paid for Travis Browne vs. Josh Barnett at UFC 168, and Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira at UFC 172. They will be paying for Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger at UFC 173.

The testing that government athletic commissions do varies enormously from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but it is fairly typical to do day-of urine testing for PEDs and recreational drugs for title fights, and at random for several other fighters on the card. When a fighter had previously tested for PEDs, the top commissions try to do a non-fight day test. The testing is generally done on urine, and is not completely comprehensive.

By contrast, the enhanced testing involves flying a testing professional to the athlete multiple times (Jones for example said he was tested four times). Both blood and urine samples are taken. And the samples are subjected to much closer scrutiny at a WADA-accredited lab in Utah, looking for for example HGH and synthetic testosterone.

Fertitta details the difficulties.

“We’re developing this as we go along, and it’s not something where we’re going to have all the answers right away on this,” said Fertitta. “The sport has made tremendous strides over the last 12 to 24 months, as far as drug testing, and I’ll argue beyond any other sport – I don’t know any other sports that are doing enhanced drug testing and have the commitment that we’re giving.”

“We said we would do it, and we’re going to do it. Now we’re going to continue to work with them to see if there’s maybe a way to get a deal where we’re doing so many of them that the cost will come down or becomes a little bit more cost-effective.”

“I think we’re going to have to get smart about how we deal with it. Obviously, for some of the bigger fights, you’re going to do the enhanced drug testing no matter what it costs. I think for some of the other fights, we’re going to have to be smart.

“Maybe, I’m just throwing this out, maybe it’s kind of half an enhanced drug test. I don’t know. But we need to come to some resolution that accomplishes our goal of ridding the sport of performance-enhancing drugs and at the same time being somewhat reasonable from a cost standpoint. We may have to go to some states and get some additional funding, but this is all very new.”

“The budgetary constraints that these states have just trying to fund education, I don’t think we’re going to be on the list for drug testing in MMA or boxing.

“Ultimately, it’s going to fall on the shoulders of the promoters as it is today. So the question becomes, all the taxes that are paid, and I’m sure it may vary state by state, but in Nevada, all the taxes that are paid to the commission don’t necessarily go to the commission. They go to the general fund of the state, so there’s no allocation back to the commission even though the commission generates a substantial amount of revenue.

“So the longer term items we’re going to have to work through and try to figure out, if there’s a way to maintain those taxes that are paid, at least to help maintain the sport and run the sport, but that’s down the road. For now, we’re paying for it.”

“Everything seems to be geared toward us, which is fine, we’re the leader in the industry. We’ll take the leadership role, and we’re going to do whatever we can to rid the sport of these issues.”

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5/2/14 11:51 AM
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Ramon Maroni
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I still dont believe $45K per test
5/2/14 11:59 AM
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CDarwin
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Ramon Maroni - I still dont believe $45K per test

I have a hard time wrapping my head around that too.

 

Is this really what ammy Olympic sports put into every single test? 

5/2/14 12:04 PM
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Lobo8
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CDarwin - 
Ramon Maroni - I still dont believe $45K per test

I have a hard time wrapping my head around that too.

 

Is this really what ammy Olympic sports put into every single test? 


I would imagine they get some kind of bulk deal where the prices for each test are way cheaper.
5/2/14 12:05 PM
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Billyz
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how the fuck is it 45k?!?!?! are you kidding me?
5/2/14 12:14 PM
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Quickash1t
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It doesn't seem too out there.

you have to pay for blood test/travel/analysis, and I am sure a bunch of other random shit.so just say the blood test for 1500. If they got tested like jones/texiera it would be 1500x4x2, so you are at 12k just for the test. Then added travel for 8 trips to fighters is going to be at least 1k per trip at least. putting you at a min of 20k total. Then figuring  the actual analysis Wada actually puts in to it. considering there will be 8 times they do it. The bill easily surpasses 30k

5/2/14 12:21 PM
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Don_Dada
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This will give them even more of an excuse as to why they lowball fighters. 

5/2/14 12:21 PM
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SmackyBear
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At that price, they should just go with VADA instead of an AC.

Flying people to test fighters is unnecessary when you could contract with a company that has trained DCOs and BCOs all over the country.
5/2/14 12:21 PM
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onyx2002
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Yeah people always look at the actual man hour cost to go and take one test. That's not how businesses work. You not only have to cover the cost but you have to have already put out the capital to exist, to have support employees, building rents, equipments, licensing, insurance and not only that you have to actually make a profit on it. It is like trying to tell a fighter that well you are only in the octagon for 15 mins max we will give you $1000 that's like $250 bucks an hour that's better than some attorneys get paid.
5/2/14 12:21 PM
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Soup and Beer
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Ramon Maroni - I still dont believe $45K per test

well if he was lying the people who tested could just claim bullshit and post the paperwork for the bill.

5/2/14 12:23 PM
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zebers3
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Ramon Maroni - I still dont believe $45K per test

I do believe that this is what they billed Zuffa, but I absolutely do not believe this is how much it should cost and that they are being fucked in the b-hole by the people doing the tests. There's no way that you can rationalize $45k for a test unless you're sending the samples to space to be analyzed.

5/2/14 12:43 PM
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Stipe
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lol

Just get a different testing regimen if someone asks you 45k per test
5/2/14 12:52 PM
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eljamaiquino
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SmackyBear - At that price, they should just go with VADA instead of an AC.

Flying people to test fighters is unnecessary when you could contract with a company that has trained DCOs and BCOs all over the country.
When you go to the fighter, there's less chance that he can dodge the test. Even a day's notice can allow a fighter to cycle off and pass a test since most Will use short term esters closer to the fight. Phone Post 3.0
5/2/14 1:30 PM
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onyx2002
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Wriggling Grunion - 
onyx2002 - Yeah people always look at the actual man hour cost to go and take one test. That's not how businesses work. You not only have to cover the cost but you have to have already put out the capital to exist, to have support employees, building rents, equipments, licensing, insurance and not only that you have to actually make a profit on it. It is like trying to tell a fighter that well you are only in the octagon for 15 mins max we will give you $1000 that's like $250 bucks an hour that's better than some attorneys get paid.

The actual tests themselves would run ~$1,000. Certainly no higher than $2,000. A $40,000+ charge on top of that is rather unreasonable.


quikash1 already alluded to how 1500 becomes 40,000



It doesn't seem too out there.

you have to pay for blood test/travel/analysis, and I am sure a bunch of other random shit.so just say the blood test for 1500. If they got tested like jones/texiera it would be 1500x4x2, so you are at 12k just for the test. Then added travel for 8 trips to fighters is going to be at least 1k per trip at least. putting you at a min of 20k total. Then figuring the actual analysis Wada actually puts in to it. considering there will be 8 times they do it. The bill easily surpasses 30k




I'm not necessarily saying it is right or wrong just how it is justifiable. I can buy the concrete and materials for a house for about $30,000 doesn't mean if you go and get a quote from a homebuilder to build on your property that it will just be 30k plus some profit.
5/2/14 1:31 PM
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SmackyBear
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eljamaiquino - 
SmackyBear - At that price, they should just go with VADA instead of an AC.

Flying people to test fighters is unnecessary when you could contract with a company that has trained DCOs and BCOs all over the country.
When you go to the fighter, there's less chance that he can dodge the test. Even a day's notice can allow a fighter to cycle off and pass a test since most Will use short term esters closer to the fight. Phone Post 3.0

Yes, but I wasn't saying you don't send people to them, just you can do it more intelligently.

VADA contracts with a company that trains and employs doping control officers (DCOs) and blood collection officers (BCOs) around the world. Getting them to Jon Jones in either Albuquerque or New York wouldn't require flying them to him, the company could find the DCOs and BCOs within reasonable driving distance.

The Maryland AC probably flew AC inspectors from Maryland to him, adding a gigantic and wholly unnecessary expense.
5/2/14 1:47 PM
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goldenboyart
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Billyz - how the fuck is it 45k?!?!?! are you kidding me?

IMO it's their excuse NOT to do random testing throughout the year.

No way does it come anywhere close to $45K.

Like others have said, you can go to any clinic, Hospital etc. and have the same damn tests done for under $500 bucks. That's blood and Urine to be exact.

total Bullshit.

Does the UFC think we are that STUPID??
5/2/14 1:54 PM
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rrg1
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Of course it is cost prohibitive...no one in their right mind is going to spend $45,000 to bust the very guys who make them millions lol.

These guys aren't dumb.
5/2/14 2:06 PM
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SmackyBear
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Nevada's "enhanced testing" for the Pac-Bradley fight was $35k. VADA's testing is more like $20k.

Maryland's $45k is surely bloated, but people acting like the real cost is $500 because they can get a test at the clinic for that is insane. There are only two labs in America where you can get WADA accredited testing.
5/2/14 3:08 PM
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BshMstr
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anybody know if they currently test all fighters on a card now, or just randomly?
5/2/14 3:30 PM
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epwar
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Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd Lorenzo has found his out for further testing...

5/2/14 3:56 PM
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Chromium
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$45,000 per fight is legitimately prohibitive.

For example, $45,000 * 480 fighters * twice a year = $43,200,000 which is equal to like 15%+ of their entire annual revenue. I would just do that for title fights and fights with direct title implications only.

The thing is though, VADA, which is supposed to be the gold standard, I know has offered testing for $6000 a fight (this is what Sheila Gaff had to raise to get tested in her fight against Sheila Gaff in Cage Warriors before Gaff pulled out), which is for both fighters, and they're as comprehensive as anything I'm aware of. They will surprise people at their gyms, and do blood testing for everything on the WADA list applicable to combat sports (they also will make it merely optional to test for marijuana).

I'd really like to know where the discrepancy comes from.

I know that a few things on the WADA sports are not applicable to combat sports (beta blockers and ethanol specifically), and I imagine some things are probably unnecessary to do both blood and urine testing for, or out-of-competition testing for if they'll stay in your blood stream for over a year, but I can't see how those things alone increase the price 15-fold.

Hell, if they're even dreaming of spending $45k per fighter per fight on drug testing, I wish they'd spend a quarter of that on shoring up fighter salaries instead.

5/2/14 4:00 PM
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Sherlock bonesalot
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If they can afford 40 k for a test then they can afford to put up base pay for the fighters. Phone Post 3.0
5/2/14 4:21 PM
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Sandy Pantz
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So who can get a cheaper quote if you all think it's bullshit? Not just vague figures for sorta the same but not really tests.
5/2/14 4:38 PM
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UGPTT__IeatCOCKSforBreakfastAwYeah
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Yikes, so some fighters drug tests will cost more than they make.
5/2/14 4:39 PM
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prometheusX
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eljamaiquino - 
SmackyBear - At that price, they should just go with VADA instead of an AC.

Flying people to test fighters is unnecessary when you could contract with a company that has trained DCOs and BCOs all over the country.
When you go to the fighter, there's less chance that he can dodge the test. Even a day's notice can allow a fighter to cycle off and pass a test since most Will use short term esters closer to the fight. Phone Post 3.0

Even if the fighter was just using TNE "cycling off" for a day would not allow them to pass a test.

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