The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s ongoing issues with drug testing have become impossible to ignore.
Recently, UFC commentator Joe Rogan described the UFC as experiencing “the steroid epidemic” on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
Why? In recent weeks alone, one of the greatest figures in the promotion’s history in Anderson Silva, and one of the top contenders at middleweight in Hector Lombard, both tested positive for performance enhancing agents.
Now, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC President Dana White (pictured above) have called for a press conference next week to address the issue.
The conference will take place next Wednesday in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely we will know much more about the fate of Lombard or Silva, both currently under a temporary suspension, by then. The Nevada Athletic Commission will conduct its monthly meeting the day prior, but both athletes will likely not meet with the commission until next month.
The issue has long been a controversial one — but since implementing out-of-competition drug testing for its highest-profile bouts, the promotion has been shaken by repeated failures.
In the past, it has been proposed for the UFC to work with an independent company, like VADA (the Volunteer Anti-Doping Association). But, testing has often been left to the UFC itself.
Last year, it was announced that the UFC would extend its out-of-competition testing to the entire roster, but that plan was scrapped. White attributes this to mistakes made in the case of Cung Le, whose positive drug test (and ensuing suspension) was later overturned.
UFC fighters like Tim Kennedy have expressed frustration with the lack of effective testing measures.
I have said that there is a major problem in our sport. It breaks my heart that the greatest of all times succumbed to the pressure. #PED
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) February 4, 2015
Just got a much appreciated call from @lorenzofertitta it's evident PEDs in MMA are a serious concern to him & that he wants to see change.
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) February 12, 2015