This morning (Australian time) the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) made an announcement regarding a set of random drug tests that occurred at the UFC 146 press conference, in which title contender Alistair Overeem (36-11 (1 NC)) tested positive, with a higher than normal Testosterone: Epitestosterone ratio at 10:1.
While it should be 1:1, the NSAC allows an inflated ratio of 6:1.
For many this comes as no surprise, as the previous Light-Heavyweight seemed to increase in size dramatically, to which Overeem attributes to hard work and eating right.
Unfortunately for Overeem, the result in this test requires him to sit before the commission in order to fight at UFC 146 in Las Vegas May 26th, a position that he has been in recently due to a missed drug test before his fight with Brock Lesnar (5-3) in December 2011.
They may not be as lenient this time.
One of the conditions of the December license was to undergo random testing within a six month period after the fight, so Overeem and his team should have been aware that this test was forthcoming.
What does this positive test mean for Overeem?
Firstly, it’s likely that he is out of the title fight with Junior Dos Santos (14-1). I would also expect a suspension from the commission. It will also be hard for him to shake the substance-user tag in the future, or until he has subsequent negative tests.
Unfortunately we don’t know the depth of how prevalent this issue is in UFC, as the science of doping comes down to timing, with cycles timed to perfection in order to pass pre and post tests.
Is there an issue with performance enhancing doping within the sport? Perhaps.
As the third fighter this year that has tested positive to a performance enhancing substance underneath the UFC/Strikeforce banner, the promotion must be seen to take a hard line on this issue.
No longer can a fighter’s word be taken as a guarantee.
Is the answer to cut the offenders in question? No. The UFC would be in a better position to educate and encourage year-round random testing in an effort to keep the sport clean. This is needed for the UFC to be considered the mainstream sport that it strives to be.
If a fighter is caught then they should be penalised to the full extent, both with suspension and /or financial penalty, with the promotion supporting this commission’s decision.
Until we get a hard line on this issue there will be a constant cloud hanging over our sport.