Breaking down GSP’s comments about lack of PED testing in UFC, MMA

Georges “Rush” St. Pierre has recently expressed concerns with the UFC, MMA, and how drug testing is handled throughout the sport.

St. Pierre originally said he was taking a break from mixed martial arts due to “personal troubles,” however, he recently readdressed the issue, citing performance-enhancing drugs and their negative impact in MMA.

While speaking to reporters in Montreal, GSP said this issue was what mainly caused him to vacate his title after his controversial split-decision victory over Johnny Hendricks.

“That’s one of the reasons why I stopped fighting. Not really to teach them a lesson, because that would also punish me. I wanted to do something for the sport. I love the sport. I see the direction it’s going, and I don’t think it makes any sense.” he said.

St-Pierre wants amends to be made. He was the Welterweight champion in MMA’s top promotion for over five years. He was well-rounded, and loved in his home nation, Canada, and abroad.

But, is his timing a little too convenient? Is it too late?

Dana White insists that he was never informed of GSP’s complaints. He also rejects St-Pierre’s claims to have retired due to the testing.

GSP continued his vociferations, “I tried to do something to change the sport. Unfortunately, there were other people, for different reasons, maybe for money, in fear of losing money, because if you canceled the fight because someone tested positive there are millions of dollars [lost]. Also, the sport’s image … If you start testing everyone, how many will get caught? I don’t want to say in public because I don’t want to accuse anyone, but the sport’s image will be hurt.”

GSP’s allegations are well and proven, but, having indefinitely retired from mixed martial arts, what power does he still have in the sport’s political outreach? Much like boxing, will MMA ever receive definite, uncompromised, drug testing for its fighters, like that provided by the VADA, who were originally slated to test both St. Pierre and Johnny Hendricks? St Pierre passed testing while Hendricks did not complete it.

In some ways, the truth may hurt MMA, but also gain the respect and dignity of the sporting community, as well as assure the safety and well-being of our combatants. One thing is inarguable — every fighter’s health should be protected at all costs. Their honest sacrifice shouldn’t be disparaged by those who refuse to give an honest effort.

Earlier this week, Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira both underwent random testing ahead of their Light Heavyweight title encounter. Jones’ trainer, Greg Jackson referred it as a “step in the right direction”, and the UFC has agreed to cover all expenses.

Fighters must step forward. The UFC must step forward. The industry must step forward. For the sake of cleansing the sport.

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