More than 300 fighters from the UFC & Strikeforce met together in Las Vegas, NV to talk about many things in the sport including the dreaded performing enhancing drug issue.
A formal written policy against PEDs and other banned substances has been established by both promotions under the Zuffa banner. Lawrence Epstein, the company’s Executive Vice-President and General Counsel explained the policy.
“It is important to continue educating our athletes on the dangers of PEDs and other banned substances. Additionally, no new UFC or STRIKEFORCE promotional agreement will become effective before the athlete has provided a clean PED test result.
PED and banned substance usage harms the integrity of sport, potentially compromises the safety of our athletes, raises concerns for both short and long-term health issues and sends an improper message to our fanbase. We will continue to be at the forefront of this issue. And we will continue to work with Athletic Commissions and other bodies to ensure – to the fullest extent possible – that testing procedure keep pace with scientific advancements regarding the identification and detection of prohibited substances.”
UFC medical consultant Dr. Jeff Davidson also spoke to the athletes about both the short and long-term medical effects of PEDs. He discussed the topical Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) along with the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic CommissionKeith Kizer, detailed the laws and regulations pertaining to PEDs and TRT.
UFC President Dana White spoke about the summit.
“When we see our fighters during event time, they are cutting weight or are going from interview to interview, so it is important to sit down with them – all 300-plus of them – in a room and go over what is happening in our sport. We had a great line-up of speakers, experts in everything from social media, to brand awareness to medical experts, and our fighters went away with some great information. These summits are crazy to organize, but as a responsible company we feel they are very worthwhile.”
UFC Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta commented.
“Flying over three hundred athletes from literally all over the world, from Brazil, Europe, the Far East, Australia and all over North America, is always a logistical challenge. But it is invaluable for our major sports organization to get all of our athletes together go over things like insurance, drug testing and social responsibility. We had great feedback from our athletes and the summit was extremely worthwhile.”
It was also announced that, despite an increase in total costs, all athletes in both promotions will have accidental medical insurance for another year, including added coverage for pre-existing conditions.