Performance enhancing drug use is a hot topic in mixed martial arts today. Athletes like Mark Bocek and Brian Stann have described PED use as a major factor in their decisions to retire from the sport.
Stann described his position, which included his views on the practice of “Testosterone Replacement Therapy,” to Caged Insider back in March:
“It wasn’t just TRT, It was performance enhancing drug use in general. I was always a clean fighter and it’s difficult when you’re fighting guys who are finding ways around the testing, finding legal ways to use these types of things – it’s absolutely ridiculous. People trying to dance around it, say it’s unfortunate. Look, they’re all wrong. They have to say that because they were using it. It is a significant advantage.”
Bocek even described PED use as “rampant” in announcing his retirement last week.
Retired UFC legend Randy “The Natural” Couture, who remains active as a trainer in MMA among his other endeavors (described here), spoke out in an interview with Submission Radio on the subject of PED’s.
Perhaps surprisingly, Couture disagrees with Bocek.
As quoted by Karim Kidan for Bloody Elbow:
“I didn’t really agree with Mark’s statement that it was rampant in Mixed Martial Arts. I don’t think it’s rampant. I think if it was rampant there’d be a lot more guys coming up positive on tests, and there’s certainly been a few guys, but if it was rampant then it would be a whole lot more. So I don’t know that I agree with that statement, but you know it’s human nature.”
Couture would go on to admit, “I think there’s always going to be some guys that try to cut corners, who are looking for that short cut or that loop hole, and are willing to kinda take that risk.”
But, he adds, “If you get caught, you’re gonna lose the opportunity for at least a year to make a living in your sport. And I mean not to mention the damage to your reputation. So I think there are guys, always gonna be a handful of guys that are willing to kinda take those risks.”
Recently bolstered performance enhancing drug protocol for the UFC has resulted in the cancellation of several major bouts. UFC contender Chael Sonnen received a two year ban last month for the latest in a series of transgressions.