With the UFC’s adoption of USADA testing in the summer of 2015, the fight league now boasts some of the toughest drug testing in sports. They’re way beyond the joke testing that goes down in baseball and football and one could even say they’re tougher than Olympic testing as fighters must report their location and be ready to give blood and urine so long as they fight for the UFC, rather than simply leading up to and during the Olympic games.
There’s been a number of drug failures and suspensions in the UFC since USADA took over, most notably Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar failing tests leading up to UFC 200. But before them came oldschool fighting legend Mirko Crocop, who got a 2 year suspension after disclosing a human growth hormone treatment he used to heal a shoulder injury. He decided to retire from the UFC once the suspension was announced, and now plans to ignore the suspension and fight in Japan.
But that’s another story entirely. This is about his recent statements in an interview with RTL site Vijesti, Crocop says USADA offered to shorten his suspension significantly if he provided them with evidence of another fighter’s PED use. Or in his words, if he became a snitch.
“In the end they offered me to revoke my suspension If I snitch another fighter. I couldn’t believe that they were humiliating me in this matter. I have my own gym, I don’t know what people use and even If I knew it – I wouldn’t tell them. I told them that they can stop me from fighting in UFC, but they will not take my soul. If organization who fights for clean sport is on such a level that they want to blackmail a fighter… Can you get any lower? I wouldn’t do this to my worst enemy. But such are the rules, I’m not mad at anybody. I should have kept quiet. I ended up being more naive than a French maid.”
MMA website Bloody Elbow notes that the official USADA guidelines actually includes this ‘snitching provision’, stating they “may suspend all or part of the period of Ineligibility and other Consequences” if a fighter “has provided Substantial Assistance … which results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering or bringing forward a criminal offense or the breach of professional rules committed by another Person.”
That’s kind of crazy, but just more proof that USADA is not messing around when it comes to trying to weed out cheaters. When so much regarding catching performance enhancing drug users involves being in the know on new drugs and techniques and doctors helping athletes cheat the system, a little insider information can go a long way.
It’s gonna be a wild ride, though, when the first fighter comes along to get his suspension lifted for turning informant. That fighter ain’t going to be Mirko Crocop, though.