The UFC announced yesterday that all potential UFC and Strikeforce signees will be subject to a mandatory pre-contract screening for performance-enhancing drugs. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, all incoming athletes will be tested prior to finalizing a contract with the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. This news comes in the wake of King Mo and Cris Cyborg testing positive for banned substances.
“We’re committed to the health and safety of our athletes and we take it very seriously,” UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said. “We already work closely with athletic commissions to protect our athletes and now we’re taking it one step further. We’re going to test any potential UFC or Strikeforce fighter before finalizing their contract. This shows that we don’t want performance-enhancing drugs in our sport.”
This pre-contract screening policy further cements the organization’s dedication to the well-being of its athletes. In May, the organization announced that nearly 350 UFC and STRIKEFORCE independent contractor athletes would be eligible for customized accident insurance coverage, an unprecedented policy that covers accidental injuries suffered by athletes while training, as well as non-training incidents such as automobile accidents.
“The health and safety of our athletes is our top priority,” UFC President Dana White said in a press release from Zuffa. “We’ve seen the issues performance-enhancing drugs have caused in other sports and we’re going to do everything we can to keep them out of the UFC and Strikeforce. Our athletes are already held to the highest testing standards in all sports by athletic commissions. Our new testing policy for performance-enhancing drugs only further shows how important it is to us to have our athletes competing on a level playing field.”
All current UFC and Strikeforce athletes will continue to be screened for performance-enhancing drugs, both prior to competition and at random, in accordance with athletic commission rules and regulations.