Lightweight contender Kenny Florian has gone on record to the Boston Herald to discuss the recent positive steroid test’s by Hermes Franca and champion Sean Sherk have not only turned the UFC’s lightweight division into a scramble but has also brought attention to MMA’s steorid policies.
Florian, who was defeated by Sherk at UFC 64 last October, recently went on the record to talk about what the UFC should do to quell steroid and drug use in mixed martial arts:
“As a fan and representative of MMA, itâ€™s disappointing because we are trying to gain those mainstream fans. Obviously you have other sports with steroid allegations. For us, itâ€™s that much more important to keep controversy out of our sport. We donâ€™t need any more black eyes.
Iâ€™m all for random testing. Across the board – all season long. Iâ€™m all for doing it every month and randomly. That would be great.”
The idea of true random tests which would take place both at events and during training, has been perhaps the most talked about proposal in the days since the news of the dual steroid tests broke earlier this month. Florian is the first UFC fighter to jump on to the plan and endorse what many MMA fans and journalists feel is necessary to keep the integrity of the sport intact.
Florian added this when discussing the issue of steroids in a growing sport like mixed martial arts:
â€œOverall steroid use in general is something that a lot of people are using in all sports. Thereâ€™s allegations in tennis. A lot of people say marathon runners are some of the biggest users. But, again, as we start to get more formalized and established (in the mainstream), we need to realize there are people out there – kids – who watch us and say Joe Schmoe is using, why shouldnâ€™t I. Itâ€™s a vicious circle of cutting corners. All the questions about our hard work will start. Itâ€™s not isolated to MMA, itâ€™s happened across the board.
I know Iâ€™ve fought guys that have been using, and Iâ€™ve beaten them. A lot is mental comfort, I guess. Maybe it helps them train harder, I donâ€™t really know. Hopefully we can cut it out all together by doing random testing.â€?
In the article Florian also questions whether Sean Sherk may have been on steroids when he defeated Florian in their fight last year. This calls to mind another issue which is consistent testing. Because MMA sanctioning is done at the state level and not by a federal comission the standards for drug testing vary greatly from states which require all fighters to be tested, those which do a random test on a limited group of fighters, and those who do not require drug tests at all.
Quite simply if the state commissions do not adopt consistent and strict drug testing rules across the board the UFC needs to take responsibility and foot the small bill to make sure all fighters are tested for performance enhancing drugs each and every time they step into the octagon and possibly even more often to ensure fair competition, fighter safety, and the integrity of a sport that is still so vulnerable.