To ensure there is no doubt in the legitimacy behind tonight’s event, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed his organization conducted an internal drug screening on ALL “Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery” participants. The additional pee test will compliment the lax random exam the Missouri Office of Athletics is enforcing.
“It wasn’t based on any one specific fighter,” Coker told MMAFighting.com on Friday night. “It was just the right thing to do. It’s so all the fighters, all the fans, and all the media know what’s going on. I talked to all the fighters about it and they were all fine with it.”
The alleged juicer Coker is referring to is controversial heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
The Dutchman holds an impressive 32-11 MMA record, however hasn’t set foot inside a Strikeforce cage since steamrolling Paul Buentello to capture the open title back in November 2007.
“I know that the commission here is doing random testing, but we didn’t want to leave it up to that,” said Coker. “People were asking, ‘Why aren’t you testing Alistair Overeem?’ Hey, I didn’t know. It’s not up to me. So we just said, let’s test everybody, make sure the playing field is even.”
Much has been made of Overeem’s immediate exit from the U.S. since winning the title. Not only has he not been back to defend his crown, he turned into The Incredible Hulk during the process, which has many questioning the legitimacy behind achieving that kind of natural growth in such a short period of time.
He’s since fought outside of the promotion on seven separate occasions.
Coker said the decision to conduct Friday’s test, which was administered internally by Strikeforce via a local independent laboratory, has been in the works for at least a week. The thorough promoter told the website all fighters were required to submit their drug screenings at the hotel immediately after yesterday’s weigh-ins.
“It’s just to make it clear to everyone that all the fighters are going to be tested, and I believe they’ll test clean,” Coker said.
According to Coker, the results should be available in roughly two weeks. He added that disciplinary action for athletes who test positive “would be very similar to what you would see in California and Nevada.”
The California State Athletic Commission usually suspends fighters anywhere from 6-12 months for the use of banned substances.