As you probably already know, the CSAC has been at the center of controversy in the past few years with steroid cases like Sean Sherk’s and Antonio Silva’s, and recently, the exit of their Executive Officer, Armando Garcia, who didn’t exactly leave for the right reasons.
The new Assistant Executive Officer, Bill Douglas, however, has made it known that he’s taken the bull by the horns to turn things around at the CSAC and hopefully prevent further controversy. His first order of business? Revamping the CSAC’s drug testing program, and according to MMA Weekly, it appears the new program is about a week away from being implemented. Here’s the details.
The CSAC will now conduct steroid testing with one of two World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) labs in the country at the University of California, Los Angeles. In early November, the CSAC became its exclusive client for combat sports testing. Among other clients, the UCLA lab currently handles steroid testing for the NFL, NCAA, and the U.S. Olympic Team.
Douglas said the commission has doubled its funding to separate the facilities used for steroid and drugs of abuse testing. The UCLA lab will now exclusively handle performance-enhancing drugs, while the CSAC’s current facility, Quest Diagnostics, will handle drugs of abuse.
“With this budget, we should be able to test every single bout on every single show; no matter the size of the show,” he said.
A major part of Sherk and Silva’s defenses was that supplements had triggered a false positive. Douglas apparently has a plan for that too.
Under the WADA lab, the new program will also take a fighter’s supplement usage into account during steroid testing. If, for instance, an athlete discloses on his pre-fight medical questionnaire that he has used a certain supplement, particularly a supplement known by WADA to have issues with steroid contamination, the lab will consider a “false positive” likely.
According to Douglas, the new disclosure forms will address the heated issue of positive tests caused by contaminated supplements. Last year, the commission took heavy criticism after the suspension of former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk, who claimed his dietary supplements flagged him for steroids.
Now how about that appeals process, Bill?