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UFC to advocate minimum of 2 year suspensions, drug testing for all fighters

The UFC media event is still happening but here are some of the things that were outlined by Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita, and Lawrence Epstein:

Lorenzo says that 26.3 percent of out of competition tests in 2013-14 were failures and that is an alarming rate.

"There has to be harsher penalties to rid this sport of PED usage," Fertitta said. "If you are using PEDs, you will be caught." Lorenzo said that this is something that they have been working on for some time. Lorenzo says that UFC would support a four year ban for first-time offenders. That is a game changer for sure.

All main event and championship fighters will be subjected to enhanced out of competition testing. That will be effective July 1, 2015.

UFC will immediately advocate to every commission to test every fighter on a card on fight night. UFC will pay the extra cost if needed.

UFC will be instituting out-of-competition random PED testing and all fighters will be subject to random testing effective July 1, 2015

- Approx. 585 fighters will be subject to testing by an independent third party using WADA testing standards.

- UFC is engaged in talks with numeruous global drug testing organizations to create random drug testing protocol beginnning July 2, 2015.

UFC is committed to invest several million dollars for in/out of competition and random PED testing annually.

- 2013/2014 UFC spent approximately $500,000 in testing expenses

- UFC will be advocating for longer suspensions and harsher penalties issued by the commissions.

Dana says 2-4 years suspension can be career threatening so now they have to look at risk/reward. I agree with this.

In places like Brazil they will advocate them to do out of competition testing and will take it upon themselves to do out of competition testing. Lorenzo said that evidence from both sides will be presented when his hearing takes place and the NSAC will be handling that situation.

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A reporter asked about Anderson's contract and the fact that he has fights left on it. Dana says Anderson has to go through due process so there's a long road to go before they think about Anderson's next fight.

Epstein says that it should not be a big deal for testing in other countries because many of them have WADA labs.

Lorenzo says, "Honestly, things will probably get worse before it gets better."

On Rogan's recent comments saying that there is a steroid epidemic. Dana says Joe exaggerates and is a little flamboyant sometimes but "there's definitely a problem. When there's money involved, people are gonna find a way to beat that system and get that edge."

Dana added, "When a guy like Anderson Silva gets caught it sends a message." Dana said it shocked him.

Lorenzo said, "if we lose main events then we lose main events."

The Anderson Silva test failure prompted them to speed up the process but they've been working on this and talking to third parties for 6 or 7 months. Lorenzo says they can't name who they are talking with because there are confidentiality agreements in place.

"We're going to move a lot faster than baseball did," Dana said. "If you can't compete in this sport with your natural abilities, you don't belong here."

Dana added, "I'd like to see a lot of the other combat sports companies do this, not just us."

If a champion tests positive, or anyone, they would advocate for stricter penalties. They want a minimum of 2 years so that would mean a champion would be stripped.

Lorenzo says that whoever is contracted to conduct testing will test urine and blood testing. On what happens if a figher tries to avoid testing, they will look to the third party to set those rules and UFC will stand by them.

They want the third party to decide who gets selected for random tests. Dana and Lorenzo say that they are not worried about having less exciting fights. Dana things things will be a lot better if they can keep these guys off this "garbage."

Has UFC heard from any sponsors? Lorenzo says they try to be proactive to reach out and let them know what's going on. There haven't been a lot of inbound calls but anyone with questions have had concerns addressed and UFC knows they have have to get ahead of this and that's what they're doing.

It is hard to make the argument that UFC is not doing everything possible to clean up the sport. This is huge and will cost them a ton of money but it is the right thing to do. Hopefully other organizations (MMA and boxing) follow UFC's lead on this.