Bill Douglas, the assistant executive officer for the California State Athletic Commission, has announced that the CSAC will implement their new drug screening program starting on December 11th. The Commission had temporarily suspended their testing of professional athletes since late last month, as they were revamping their policies and procedures.
“We wanted to go to the top of the food chain with this,” said Douglas. “It’s at the highest possible level of testing that it could go. If someone questions this testing, they’re questioning the testing used by a lot of the top sports programs.”
The CSAC will now use Olympic drub screening standards, utilizing the World Anti-Doping Association lab at UCLA. The lab currently tests for the Olympics, the NFL, NCAA Division I sports and minor league baseball.
The new policy will include testing for recreational drugs for practically every fighter participating at an event. For major MMA events, every fighter will also be tested for steroids, however the Commission will only test the main event fighters on the smaller promotions.
The CSAC will also be testing all fighters competing in title bouts, and will randomly screen fighters that compete on undercard bouts.
“My mentality is very different from my predecessor,” Douglas stated. “I don’t have a ‘gotcha’ policy and we’re not looking to be happy catching people. Unless everything is delivered in pristine condition from us, UCLA will reject the sample. It forces us as an agency, to step it up. Anything less than this is a disservice to the athlete.”
Douglas hopes to improve not only the Commission’s standards of testing, but also their relationships with the athletes. At times, previous Commission head Leonard Garcia seemed to go out of his way to produce and reveal positive drug test results.
“If this testing forces people to deal with issues ahead of time, it may allow their families to have more time with them, save them from health problems in later life or even premature death,” Douglas said in closing.