When the UFC hosted Wednesday’s press conference in Las Vegas to unveil their new, far more aggressive drug testing policy, its primary purpose was to clean up the sport their athletes are rapidly tarnishing.
However, one unintentional ripple effect today’s announcement made was that it might bring the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draw back to the cage.
After hearing the UFC’s intentions of executing a stricter drug testing program, which will be accompanied by harsher suspensions for cheaters, former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (pictured) expressed his approval.
“Very happy to learn about the UFC announcing a new comprehensive random PED testing., St-Pierre tweeted. “Clearly a big step in the right direction for our sport.
“Can’t wait to get more details about the actual protocol, 3rd party testing agency and new sanctions.”
What we currently know is the UFC will fully fund a third-party agency to conduct random, out-of-competition drug exams on all of their 585 fighters year-round. Also, they will advocate to athletic commissions to suspend first-time offenders for at least two-years.
St-Pierre was the UFC’s most decorated welterweight champion when he voluntarily vacated his title and abruptly walked away from MMA in December 2013 to “take a break.” GSP later revealed that the UFC’s lax drug testing policy was one of his primary reasons for leaving the game at the peak of his illustrious career.
The 33-year-old has stated he will never return to the UFC unless more rigorous drug testing was in in place. While St-Pierre didn’t say the UFC’s new and improved plan of action will bring him out of his sabbatical, it certainly won’t hurt.
The UFC’s new drug testing policy will kick in July 1, 2015.