When all the talk of a potential meeting between Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem was circulating last year, various members of M-1 Global voiced their concerns with Overeem’s suspected PED use and called for pre-fight drug testing. With Josh Barnett, Antonio Silva and Alistair Overeem now all participating in Strikeforce’s upcoming heavyweight grand prix, it comes as no surprise that they’re bringing up the topic again. Here’s Vadim Finkelchtein’s comments on the subject from a M-1 press conference (via LowKick) that took place in Russia yesterday.
Two out of eight fighters in the tournament previously failed a drug test. Obviously, I’m talking about Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva. We want fair competition for everyone, so that’s why I will ask the commission to perform a strict drug testing. Fedor is not using any kind of substance to enhance his performance, and will be ready for any kind of testing. So if the commission decides to follow our suggestion, we’ll be ready.
Our organization paid a heavy price after the cancellation of the fight between Josh Barnett and Fedor. We did a lot of promotion for this fight, which in the end did not take place. That’s why as a promoter and manager, I don’t want this to happen ever again.
Note: Vadim Finkelstein was asked about Olympic Drug Testing, but never used the term in his answer. In an interview to Sports.ru, Finkelstein says the main goal is to ensure a fair competition for Fedor, and not to push for some sort of specific testing.
What’s ironic about that statement is the Josh Barnett fight would have happened if the commission didn’t test him. That’s besides the point though. Finkelchtein can ask the commission for all the drug testing in the world, but at the end of the day, he’s going to get the same urine test that the commissions have been using for years which as we all know isn’t capable of detecting all forms of PED’s. It’s unfortunate but that’s the reality of the situation.
Furthermore, Scott Coker mentioned earlier this week that they’re considering taking the tournament to Japan, which everyone assumes is a contingency plan in case Barnett can’t licensed anywhere in the US. I’m not sure how M-1 feels about that, but let’s just hope they don’t turn the sport’s drug testing problems into an issue in the later rounds of the tournament.
On a lighter note, one of Fedor’s coaches mentioned in the press conference that Fedor has been breaking people’s ribs and faces during sparring sessions which is just awesome. Shane Carwin might want to reconsider that trip to Russia.
Image via MixFight.ru