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Strikeforce to implement it's own testing for June 18th card

Ash2011-03-04 23:43:11 +0000 #1


Strikeforce to conduct independent drug testing for second tourney quarterfinal event

by Steven Marrocco on Mar 02, 2011 at 6:05 pm ET

Strikeforce will for the second time conduct independent drug testing of its competitors at an event.

Several fighters appearing on an upcoming fight card slated for June 18 at American Airlines Center in Dallas will be tested for drugs of abuse and performance-enhancers drugs, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed to ( ) via email.

Those included in the extra testing are all four of the participants scheduled to compete in the second quarterfinal round of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, which kicked off Feb. 12 and resumes at the June event.

The CEO did not specify whether the testing will take place before or after the event, though he confirmed that tournament competitor Josh Barnett will be required to pass a pre-fight drug test before he's allowed to fight.

Barnett is slated to meet Brett Rogers at the June event.

The additional testing plugs an enforcement gap present in the bylaws of the athletic commission that will oversee the event. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation can order drug tests for its licensees, but it does not require across-the-board testing. That responsibility falls on the "sanctioning body" of an event, which often becomes the promoter.

When the UFC recently held its third event in the Lone Star State, "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fights for the Troops 2," the promotion conducted its own independent testing of athletes. The event's headliners and four others chosen at random were tested for performance-enhancers and recreational/drugs of abuse. All athletes tested negative for both types of drugs.

Strikeforce conducted independent testing of all fighters who fought this past May at "Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery" in St. Louis, Mo., in response to concerns that the state athletic commission's random post-fight test protocols were not sufficient. That event was headlined by Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, who often has been accused of using performance-enhancers despite no evidence of having ever failed a drug test.

Overeem is scheduled to face Fabricio Werdum in a tournament quarterfinal bout at the June 18 event.

Barnett has been flagged for the use of performance-enhancing drugs three times and twice suffered professional sanctions as a result. Most significantly, he was stripped of the UFC heavyweight title when he tested positive for steroids following a win over Randy Couture at UFC 36.

More recently, the California State Athletic Commission denied Barnett a license to fight Fedor Emelianenko at "Affliction: Trilogy" when a pre-fight drug test he submitted came up positive for performance-enhancers a little more than a week from the August 2009 event, which later was canceled. He was barred from reapplying for a license for one year following his notification of the test, but since has been removed from a national registry that could prevent him from getting licensed in other states.

This past month Barnett withdrew a new application for a fight license in California. The commission asked him to answer questions about his positive test at a CSAC meeting held this past December in Sacramento. He later said the commission "ambushed" him at the meeting, though commission officials told that he was informed of the steps needed to get re-licensed.

Shortly after the announcement of Barnett's participation in the tournament, Coker told that several state athletic commissions were willing to license the fighter if he provided a clean pre-fight drug test.

Susan Stanford, the TDLR's public information officer, today told that while Strikeforce is holding the June 18 date for its event, officials have not submitted a fight card and thus none of the bouts – or drug-testing requirements – have been set.

Strikeforce held its first tournament event, "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Silva," this past month at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., and drew record TV ratings for broadcast partner Showtime. The Feb. 12 telecast averaged 741,000 viewers and peaked with 1.1 million for a headlining bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Silva.

If there was ever any doubt about Barnett or Overeem being excessive roiders, which there really isn't, then this is the final nail in that coffin.

Tcruzan792011-03-04 23:56:13 +0000 #2
Wow. Just wow.

This grand prix just lost what little legitimacy it had left.
BulldogWrestler2011-03-05 00:17:59 +0000 #3
Hahahahahahahahahaha. *sigh*. Oh well....
Ash2011-03-05 00:56:16 +0000 #4
I honestly don't understand why they're bending over backwards for Overeem. It's making the whole org look like a joke at this point. I mean, for all the hassle Fedor provides, at least he has some name value, fights on occasion, and can piss clean.
BulldogWrestler2011-03-05 01:05:33 +0000 #5
No idea either. This is about as shady as it gets though and a blind man could see this coming a mile away
bhorrrr2011-03-05 00:33:44 +0000 #6

Originally Posted by Tcruzan79

Wow. Just wow.

This grand prix just lost what little legitimacy it had left.

i agree in a small way. but most of me thinks that we all knew this from the beginning. this isn't them losing any extra legitimacy. when you've got a grand prix with barnett and overeem, you know what you're getting into from the beginning.



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