Should MMA Have a Two Strike Rule for Performance Enhancers?
The steroid and more vague "performance enhancer" discussion has been at the forefront of the sports discussion in the US for the last few years.
While the main focus has been on Major League Baseball players and their records, the issue has most recently reared its ugly head in MMA.
Unless you're a fringe fan or living in the woods with Brock Lesnar, you've heard that the No. 2 fighter in the heavyweight world rankings, Josh Barnett, has failed a California State Athletic Commission issued drug test.
The compound found is known as 2a-methyl-5a-androstan-3a-ol-17-one, an anabolic steroid.
This is the second time that Barnett has tested positive in the U.S. and it should be noted that the test was administered "out-of-season" or before the normal testing period, just before a fight.
While performance enhancers are cheating in any sport, I think that using them in a contact sport is especially heinous. Adding "pop" to your bat for longer home runs is one thing, adding "pop" to your striking is another.
The steroid Barnett tested positive for is mostly used for maintaining strength and muscle mass, while cutting weight. More muscle, less fat, equates to more power and speed...two key elements of any mixed martial artist's base.
So the question remains, should mixed martial arts institute a two-strike policy on fighters? Currently fighters can participate in events overseas even if they're banned from fighting in the U.S.
Furthermore, countries like Japan have no steroid testing policy, leading to speculation about fighters that fight there exclusively, who have also shown serious body changes in short time spans.
Changing things universally in MMA might be a bit of a stretch right now, but I'd love to see the U.S. based organizations get together and form a unified front on this.
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