If you read the Deadspin article on the UFC knowing that Vitor Belfort had superhuman testosterone levels prior to UFC 152 (when he fought Jon Jones), you might have said to yourself, “Well, Jones beat Belfort, so what’s the big deal, right?”
Folks, it is a very big deal, especially when it comes to legal liability and the problems it could cause the UFC further down the road.
Attorney Erik Magraken breaks down the ins and outs of how the UFC could be on the hook on his site. Here’s a sample:
The fight business is a risky one. The chance for injury is real. A career in the fight game comes with a real possibility of long term health consequences including brain damage such as CTE.
Despite all these risks the fight game is allowed based on one fundamental principle, informed consent. Adults generally can consent to engage in risky activity, even if it poses a risk of harm to themselves and their competitor. Here the issue of ‘informed’ consent becomes crucial. Relevant facts which can vitiate consent cannot be swept under the rug otherwise the integrity of the consent is compromised.
Anther legal principle of significant import is that of ‘indivisible injuries’. It is a principle which states that if multiple events cause an injury, and it is impossible to say which event contributed how much to that injury, anyone legally responsible for an event which contributed to the injury may be liable for the whole of the loss.
Now let’s talk Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. CTE. The progressive degenerative disease that is plaguing countless career athletes from collision sports such as football, rugby, hockey and boxing. Eventually MMA will make its way to this list.
Magraken goes on to explain how the facts of the UFC-TRT debacle fit into this… and it ain’t pretty.
The UFC did the right thing by handing drug monitoring off to another entity, but for the period of time they self-monitored TRT, they could be in some legal hot water.