So far Dana White has so far not spoken directly about today’s revelation that Chael Sonnen tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs following his UFC 117 title fight with Anderson Silva.
The UFC president has however given a general reaction to the issue of PED’s which also reared it’s ugly head recently when former UFC No.1 heavyweight contender Shane Carwin’s name cropped up during a drugs trial on a list of athletes who had received shipments of steroids a few years back.
“What else do I do?” a frustrated White tells Yahoo’s Kevin Iole. “We’ve spent millions of dollars – literally, millions of dollars – to try to get this thing regulated so they can be tested by the government. Do you know how much it costs us to put on that fighter seminar every year? Let me tell you, we’re bringing guys in from all over the world. We have guys from England, Germany, Croatia, Australia, Korea. We have 350 guys under contract and they’re coming from all over the world. It costs us a (expletive) ton, but we do it because it’s important.
“When one of them fails a test, the government is going to fine them and suspend them and tell them they can’t make a living for a year. So should I come in after they’ve already lost the ability to make a living for a year and been fined all this money and, in the worst economic disaster in the history of the world, fine them another huge amount and take away their ability to make a living even longer?
“These are guys with homes and families and personal lives and bills and debts and obligations, just like me and you,” White said. “After they lost all this money already, money that, A, they’ve probably already spent and B, which they owe taxes, do I fine them another huge amount? What else do you do to a human being?”
This is undoubtedly a difficult situation, and one that extends to all sports, not just mixed martial arts. The UFC is not to blame, and the focus should not be shifted to them when it’s clearly the fighter’s who are to blame.
Rest assured though that with UFC 119 fight week fast approaching White is going to be answering questions about this for some time to come.