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More on steroids

My bud Rob Joyner (formerly of MMA Payout) doesn’t like my ‘whatever’ attitude towards steroid testing nowadays:

I take exception to the passage – “a sudden shift towards effective testing would probably beat our sport up worse than Cris Cyborg beat up Jan Finney, so we don’t need a witch hunt” – when most estimates by fighters like Dennis Hallman and journos like Dave Meltzer put the percentage of those on at least some kind of PED being at least 50%…I’m sorry your sport deserves to be beat up worse than Jan Finney, and witch hunts have gotten a bit of a bad rap in my book.

If those numbers are indeed true, MMA falls in the same neighborhood of cycling, which has bordered on farce for years due to the rampant doping issues in that sport. If the PED usuage is that high, then it is because the athletic commissions and fight companies (UFC/Strikeforce/Etc.) facillitate and foster an environment where it can take place.

If a witch hunt blows the brains out of the popularity of MMA, let the record indicate that it was a self inflicted gunshot. If actual competent and complete drug testing upset the apple cart (maybe derail the money train may be a better metaphor) then so be it. A shrug of the shoulders, the general feeling i get from Ryan’s post, just isn’t the appropriate response in my book.

I’d just like to explain that my shrugging of the shoulders is because steroid testing is regulated by state-run commissions and even if one state does a half-decent job (so far zero do), you’ve still got another 40+ that don’t. Either commissions decide to get serious about steroid testing or they don’t. Right now they don’t, so what am I supposed to do? Get angry at the guys who use steroids because everyone else gets the competitive edge and gets away with it?

The annoying thing about all this is we don’t need to implement some giant pain in the ass system where everyone gets hooked up to a blood testing machine several times leading up to a fight. If commissions implemented random blood testing – and actually tested a reasonable number of fighters on big league card – then that would be WAY more effective than subjecting everyone to piss tests they can easily beat. It might even be more cost effective once you factor in the money you get from ACTUALLY CATCHING CHEATERS.

Now about witch hunts and why they’re bad: the real goal that should come out of proper steroid testing isn’t catching juicers … it’s stopping people from juicing in the first place. That means there needs to be a proper deterrent, which would be the statement: if you use, you’re going to get caught. Until there’s a situation in MMA where that statement is actually true, you’re going to have a lot of guys using because that’s the environment shitty testing results in. And it’s the commissions themselves that have to shoulder a lot of that blame for doing such a god awful job of testing in the first place.