Commissioner John Bailey indicated that, at least in his opinion, fighters in violation of the prohibited substance regulations should not retain any portion of a win bonus. “I believe, at least speaking for myself… in the future, should any contestant, boxing and/or mixed martial artists, be given as a part of their compensation a bonus. And if they find themselves in front of us on a disciplinary matter that involves the ingestion of a prohibited substance that the win portion of their compensation will be immediately forfeited, if they are found guilty, it will be immediately forfeited to the state, and then we will assess punishment, monetary punishment, on the remaining guaranteed portion of their contract.”
I’m always nervous when you give officials a financial incentive to throw the book at people. We just saw a massive jump in fines, from $1000 to $2500 per fighter to over $30,000 for Karo Parisyan. If someone like Brock Lesnar tests positive, does that mean the commission gets to pocket $300,000? What a good day for them that would be!
I understand that we want to give commissions enough teeth to be able to properly punish the guilty and deter others from trying to cheat. But where does the line get crossed from enforcement to outright robbery? Hearings are already notoriously one-sided … how much worse will it get when you add a few hundred thousand dollars into the mix?
Simply put, I wouldn’t be against this system if I had more trust in the reliability of drug testing (I think most real cheaters are ahead of the testing curve) and the competence of the NSAC. Who knows … perhaps this DEA-style ability to profit off the guilty will push them to try and catch as many people as possible, which could be good! Or it could turn into a total witch hunt. Who knows? It’s important to note that they haven’t actually gone through with a formal plan to take the entire winning purse of fighters who test positive. But from the looks of the Karo situation, that’s the plan.