UFC bantamweight fighter Marlon Vera has made a bold and concerning claim regarding the potential for fighters to circumvent the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug testing process. During an appearance on Bradley Martyn’s Raw Talk podcast, Vera discussed the issue of performance-enhancing drugs in mixed martial arts (MMA) and suggested that it is relatively straightforward for fighters to cheat the system.
Vera’s assertion revolves around the idea that fighters can pay substantial sums, approximately “20 grand,” to enlist the assistance of doctors who can help them evade detection by USADA. He argued that these doctors can provide fighters with the necessary substances and guidance to ensure they pass drug tests successfully.
Furthermore, Vera pointed out perceived weaknesses in the USADA testing window. According to him, the timeframe for testing, which is from 6 am to 6 pm, leaves room for manipulation. He expressed a desire for USADA to conduct more unpredictable and random testing, which might involve tests at unconventional hours to catch fighters off guard.
It’s essential to note that Vera’s claim raises significant concerns about the integrity of drug testing protocols in MMA and the potential for doping to go undetected. The effectiveness of anti-doping measures in combat sports is crucial for maintaining a level playing field and ensuring the safety of athletes.
“I think there’s a lot of people taking it. Because it’s so easy to beat USADA. You need like 20 grand, call a good doctor, boom. … A good doctor will give you good products, he will tell you how to clean yourself. USADA only comes 6 am to 6 pm. I will love for them to knock at your down at 4 am, 10 pm, 3 pm, random.”
Vera’s statement underscores the ongoing challenges faced by regulatory bodies like USADA in their efforts to combat the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports. It also highlights the need for continued vigilance and improvements in anti-doping testing procedures to maintain the integrity of competitive sports.