In a new interview with the media in his native Canada, Georges St.Pierre, who recently vacated his welterweight title in order to take an indefinite leave of absence from the sport, has criticized the UFC for their stance on drug testing.
“It bothered me enormously,” St-Pierre said. “That’s one of the reasons why I stopped fighting. Not really to teach them a lesson, because that would also punish me. I wanted to do something for the sport. I love the sport. I see the direction it’s going, and I don’t think it makes any sense. This is stupid.”
St.Pierre is referring to the fact that in the months prior to his fight with Johny Hendricks he declared that he wanted them both to undergo additional drug testing.
However, it didn’t work out as he’d hoped, with St.Pierre and Hendricks disagreeing over who should conduct the testing due to issues of cost and impartiality, eventually resulting in Hendricks backing out altogether.
What really appears to have stung GSP however is the UFC’s reaction to this, with Dana White telling the media that the long-time champion’s interest in having the tests done was “a little weird”, and the way things panned out made both fighters, “look stupid.”
Needless to say St.Pierre, who’s been the UFC’s biggest draw for a number of years, was disappointed by that and now questions exactly why the promotion were so keen to sweep the issue under the carpet.
“I tried to do something to change the sport,” St.Pierre said. “Unfortunately, there were other people, for different reasons, maybe for money, in fear of losing money, because if you canceled the fight because someone tested positive there are millions of dollars [lost]. Also, the sport’s image … If you start testing everyone, how many will get caught? I don’t want to say in public because I don’t want to accuse anyone, but the sport’s image will be hurt.
“Don’t forget, I have internal information. I’m an athlete. I know what goes on, so that disappointed me greatly.”
Of course word of St.Pierre’s unusually frank interview, which was originally conducted in French, quickly spread to UFC headquarters and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has been quick to respond to express his disappointment at what the long-time champion has had to say about the organization.
“It was extremely disappointing to hear Georges make those comments because I don’t think any organization has embraced drug testing as we have,” Fertitta said in a statement. “We have not only agreed to pay when the commission has said it wants to do enhanced testing, we’ve encouraged it. We have no problem with testing. When we serve as the commission [in areas out of the country where there is no commission], we test everyone on the card so we are thorough and there can be no claims of bias.
“Whatever a commission would want us to do in terms of testing, we would embrace it. We’ll do as many as they want. I think perhaps Georges’ people didn’t communicate to him in detail everything we’d do as they tried to arrange the testing for the fight with him and Johny.”
As yet Dana White has not responded to St.Pierre’s comments, but UFC Fight Night 35 takes place in Atlanta this evening, so he’s sure to be asked about this situation after the event concludes and it’ll be very interesting to see how he responds.