OPERATION CLEAN UP: MMA without steroids

Failed drug tests can destroy the image of any sport. We saw Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Tour de France medals and losing sponsors worth millions of dollars. Marion Jones had to forfeit all medals she ever won at the Olympics. The use of this substance not only damages the reputation of athletes, but it also puts doubt into the minds of fans. Wondering why did he do it? Did he know it was illegal? Will he do it again? Yet in many of these cases, the fans are the last people who are considered. It's sadly becoming the go to drug for athletes looking for a quick recovery from injuries. Where others just plain and simply want an advantage over their competitors.

If you have been following UFC, you'll know about the Anderson Silva, Nick Diaz drug testing fiasco. After UFC 138, it came to light that both main event fighters, Silva and Diaz tested positive following a post-fight drug test. Silva tested positive for two types of steroid and Diaz for marijuana.

Although many fighters were shocked to hear Silva tested positive, others were just waiting for another big name fighter to turn to this drug. Many fans of Silva and Diaz felt like they have been robbed after watching a fight that could be described as a joke of a main card fight. Some fighters took to social media, expressing their surprise and comments to this news.

Aljamain Sterling - "It sucks man. I had a bad shoulder tear, did rehab, and didn't use any PEDS. Tempted, but didn't, chose the clean route. THC isn't a PED to me"
THC or TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL is the active chemical found in cannabis (marijuana).

Derek Brunson -"Lastly fighters please clean up the sport. Let's not make this like MLB where all the stars were getting popped and killed the sport!"
A notable plea from Derek Brunson, a fighter who does not want to see a sport growing so fast, become a sport known for their steroid use.

Michael Bisping - "Sad that Anderson Silva tested positive for steroids. Although in hindsight, I'm not surprised. I'm too naive. #any1notcheatingbesidesme "
It is clear by the tweet of Michael Bisping, that steroids is so common in UFC that it was only a matter of time before Silva got pulled in by this substance.

TJ Grant raised a very good point with his tweet about the post-fight drug test.
TJ Grant - " Were Silva's test results known by the commission and UFC before the fight? If so, why was he allowed to compete?"

UFC commentator and actor Joe Rogan, came out saying that an estimated 50-60 percent of the organisations fighters use steroids. He was also quoted saying "UFC and MMA in general is a steroid epidemic". Coming from someone who is so closely involved with some of the world’s top fighters, the statistics are scary. Besides Diaz and Silva testing positive, big name UFC fighters like Jon Jones, Hector Lombard and Jon Fitch, to name a few, have been tested positive for some banned substance in previous times. If the world leading MMA organisation has more than half their fighters fighting dirty, what is the future for fighting brands like EFC and Bellator MMA? 

It's no secret that steroids and other PEDS (PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS) are common in all sports, but as a fan, I believe it’s the duty of the fighter, manager and coaching staff to ensure we keep our sport clean.

Let’s stand together and make MMA a sport to be proud of in South Africa and around the world.

Article by Darren McLean
Sponsored by Infinitus Jiu Jitsu

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