Dopey: CSAC Releases Drug Testing Results

By Josh Gross Jul 19, 2007
Twenty-eight fighters licensed by California have violated the state's anti-doping policy from March 31 through July 6 of this year, the California State Athletic Commission revealed Wednesday. Of those caught for various steroid and drugs-of-abuse violations, over 71 percent came from mixed martial arts, this despite 14 fewer cards than boxing and kickboxing combined.

Amongst U.S. regulatory bodies, the Golden State owns the distinction of employing the most stringent anti-doping policy. While it was widely held that California tested up and down each card in the state, the survey indicated that just three of the 17 MMA events held over the past three-plus months saw all athletes tested for drugs of abuse and steroids. Outside of two cards that featured drugs-of-abuse testing throughout the line-up, random tests for both recreational drugs and steroids were implemented.

That is the same testing pattern for over 28 boxing cards during the same period, which saw five boxers test positive for banned substances. Kickboxing promoters held three cards in the state, and each was subject to random drug testing, yielding two positive tests.

The specific type of failure was not assigned to fighters of any discipline, but of 28 violations, nine stemmed from steroids. Most famously, Royce Gracie (Pictures) tested positive for nandrolone. One of two fighters to come in above the 6 ng/ml threshold, Gracie registered over 50 ng/ml, by all measures an off-the-charts result.

The vast majority of drugs of abuse violations stemmed from positive tests for marijuana. In one instance, a fighter had traces of more than one drug in his system. Four times steroid users were caught with more than one type of banned anabolic agent in their system.

Also of note, one fighter failed for an "adulterated" drug test when the sample cup was filled with tap water. The lone suspension for refusing to provide a post-fight sample belongs to former NFL wide receiver Johnnie Morton (Pictures).

Ironically, Morton declined to take his post-fight test despite delivering a pre-fight specimen. Both the "A" and "B" samples of the pre-fight test showed a significantly elevated T/E Ratio. (The industry-standard T/E Ratio is 6 -- Morton's was 83.9.) When tested for drugs of abuse, Morton's pre-fight sample yielded negative results.

The three-month compilation is indicative of what some regulators have called an epidemic of drug use in fightsports, particularly mixed martial arts.

Total Violations:
Breakdown of Violations By Sport
Mixed Martial Arts: 20
Boxing: 5
Kickboxing: 2
Breakdown of Events Tested By Sport
Mixed Martial Arts: 17 (3, all athletes tested for drugs of abuse and steroids; 2, all athletes tested for drugs of abuse and random steroids; Remainder, random testing for drugs of abuse and steroids.)
Boxing: 28 (3, all athletes tested for drugs of abuse and steroids; 2, all athletes tested for drugs of abuse and random steroids; Remainder, random testing for drugs of abuse and steroids.) Kickboxing: 3 (Random testing for drugs of abuse and steroids.)
Total Steroid Violations: 9
Multiple Steroids in a Single Violation: 4
Breakdown of Steroid Violations
Elevated T/E Ratio: 4
Stanozolol Metabolite: 3
Boldenone Metabolite: 2 (Also known as Equipoise -- available only by prescription through veterinary clinics.)
Nandrolone Metabolite: 2
Prostanozol Metabolite: 1
Estra-4 9-dien-3 17-dione: 1
Desoxymethyltestosterone: 1
Total Drugs of Abuse Violations: 17
Multiple Drugs of Abuse in a Single Violation: 1
Breakdown of Drugs of Abuse
Marijuana: 13
Cocaine: 2
Methamphetamine: 2
Amphetamines: 1
Adulterated Drug Test: 1 (Athlete purposely altered with tap water in test kit -- confirmed by the laboratory.)
Refusal to Test: 1 (Considered a violation.)
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