“It’s a lot of things I wanted to do. I wanted to be the greatest and also I said before when I do things, I want to do things to be remembered. To make a difference in the sport. Make the sport reach another level. I’m trying to do it during my last fight. Unfortunately, it did not work. These people are not ready for it. I tried to do my best.”
Georges St-Pierre included the above words last week, when he announced he will be taking an indefinite leave from the sport of mixed martial arts — but you may have missed them.
Or rather, you may have not known what he was talking about.
Sure, he went on to refer to personal problems that he describes as turning his life into “a zoo.” There’s plenty of internet gossip about that. You’ll have to look elsewhere for it, but it’s out there.
But, as ESPN reports, the last part of the above passage, according to St-Pierre manager and attorney Rodolphe Beaulieu, is referring to something else.
It seems the “difference” he wanted to make was his attempt to impose stronger drug testing in MMA, with the assistance of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), and to begin with St-Pierre’s bout with Johny Hendricks.
It ended, of course, with St-Pierre following VADA’s random testing protocol, but Hendricks never signing up for it. The matter was described briefly in this article here at Caged Insider, but not much came of the whole thing. You may recall Keith Kizer of the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and his response to Beaulieu: “Whatever, dude.”
(Some say Kizer’s dismissal of the matter has less to do with Beaulieu or St. Pierre, and more to do with a grudge against VADA President Dr. Margaret Goodman. I know, I know. “Whatever, dude.”)
It’s frustrating that the prominent figures of MMA, and even the fans, don’t take the matter more seriously. VADA is, in fact, making better inroads in the world of boxing.
Last week, Dr. Goodman announced that Brandon Rios failed to successfully complete VADA testing in his bout with Manny Pacquiao last month.
Rios, who tested positive for methylhexaneamine, had agreed to voluntary testing. He apparently failed only the last test leading up to the bout, while Pacquiao passed all of his tests.
Pacquaio endured some criticism in back-and-forth exchanges with Floyd Mayweather Jr on the subject several years ago.
It’s sad that fighters like him, and St-Pierre, are the ones who need to make this call to action. But, it’s where we are. Are promoters dragging their feet due to expense of additional testing? Maybe… or, it’s the possibility of high-profile fights getting cancelled as fighters inevitably fail more stringent drug testing?
In fact, VADA has already forced several major fights to be cancelled, as when Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto tested positive for banned substances in random VADA tests preceding their bouts.
So, they’re right, in a sense. Kizer admitted to Boxing Scene that in Peterson’s synthetic testosterone use would not have been caught by typical NSAC procedure.
It’s becoming more “normal” to see top boxers undergoing more stringent drug testing. Just not in MMA.
Sadly, when St-Pierre says that “these people are not ready for it,” it seems he’s been proven right.