One of the best things about Dana White is that he is always brutally honest. While he obviously has a blind spot for a lot the UFC's problems and tries to frame its negatives in a positive way like all company presidents tend to do, he is unapologetically real when it comes to talking about tons of stuff that other executives might hesitate to speak about.
As is typically the case prior to a big pay-per-view (PPV), White has been on something of a media tour this week. One of his stops on that tour was a sit down with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports. During the pair’s conversation, White touched on a very interesting topic – increased drug testing for his fighters. Unsurprisingly, he is against the idea. What was mildly surprising, however, is why he’s against it.
“Forget about PEDs," White said. "If we get into this system that we're talking about where we would randomly test these guys, do you know how many guys would probably test positive for marijuana? It would be probably off the charts.”
That’s a very salient point. Nick Diaz, one of the UFC’s most notable stars, was suspended for an entire year over a positive marijuana test. It’s ridiculous that legitimate performance-enhancers and drugs like marijuana carry the same sort of penalty.
"If you randomly test them and then [the results] came out, you'd get the exact same suspension [for using marijuana] as you do for using PEDs.
"I do not think the penalty should be the same for taking marijuana as it is for [using] performance-enhancing drugs," White added.
The idiocy of the current one-size-fits-all punishment for positive drug tests in MMA has been covered in depth many times. Few in the business think it makes any sense. As is the case with most major moves, though, it’s hard to get the wheels of change in motion.
"I don't even smoke marijuana, but it's [expletive] illegal and you shouldn't do it," White said. "OK? But the guys are going to get busted [for testing positive for marijuana] and they're going to get the same suspension they would for a PED. When you take a performance-enhancing drug and you go in and you face another fighter, you can hurt him. You know what I mean?
"But [giving fighters similar suspensions for using both PEDs and marijuana] is just crazy.”
Amen. It would be great if someone with a lot of sway in the MMA world, like the UFC President, took a stand on the matter.
(Kudos Yahoo! Sports)