Over three years ago, Nevada’s athletic commission set up a legislative framework that would allow them to randomly drug test fighters who were going to be competing at upcoming events in the state. This was totally awesome, because restricting testing to immediately before and after fights allowed anyone with half a brain to cycle off their steroids and provide clean samples every time.
Unfortunately, the state hasn’t exactly been flexing it’s muscles on the issue … I couldn’t find a single instance where they required anyone in a major fight to submit to a random test. I imagine if you asked them why not, they’d have given you a sob story about not having the money to actually implement the system. But now…
More money will be available to test boxers and mixed martial arts fighters in Nevada for steroids.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval on Wednesday signed a law allowing money from an existing ticket fee to pay for random drug screenings at any time including training periods.
Current law attaches a fee to tickets for live professional fights. The Nevada Athletic Commission gets $1 per person for large events and 50 cents for smaller fights that gross less than $500,000.
The money goes to grants to support organizations promoting amateur fights in Nevada.
The new law allows the athletic commission to divert some of the money to test amateur or professional fighters for performance-enhancing drugs that create an unfair advantage.
It goes into effect July 1.
We’ve been through this before. Changes to drug testing are introduced, people say “Huzzah! This changes everything!” and then nothing changes. But dare I say maybe this time will be different? If the money can only be used for this specific kind of testing, it might actually get used. You know how these government bodies work. If they’ve got funding left over at the end of their fiscal year they send someone out to Office Depot to buy 10,000 dollars worth of printer toner just so the budget doesn’t shrink next year.