UFC commentator Joe Rogan: 'UFC and MMA in general is a steroid epidemic' By Mike Bohn Fe
UFC commentator Joe Rogan: 'UFC and MMA in general is a steroid epidemic' By Mike Bohn Fe published by Evanvinh
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Posted on 2016-03-24
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Veteran UFC commentator Joe Rogan has never been one to mince words, especially when it comes the connection between MMA and performance-enhancing drugs.
Following the latest failed drug test from a notable UFC fighter, this time welterweight Hector Lombard, Rogan opened up about what he defines as an “epidemic” of steroid usage within the sport.
“The UFC and MMA in general is a steroid epidemic,” Rogan said on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. “They’ve started this really stringent testing, and everybody is getting popped. They’re just getting popped left and right. It’s one of the things fighters have been saying for a long time, that everyone is on steroids, or a huge percentage. The number (is) 50, 60 (percent), whatever it is.”
Lombard’s failed drug test is the latest in a string of failures. UFC light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones and former Strikeforce titleholder Nick Diaz tested positive for recreational drugs – Jones for cocaine and Diaz for marijuana. However, Lombard, Anderson Silva and Jon Fitch were all flagged for PEDs.
Lombard tested positive for the designer steroid desoxymethyltestosterone. Silva tested positive for androsterone and drostanolone metabolites. And Fitch’s testosterone levels came in well over the allowed limit in the state of California.
Rogan said he can understand the temptation to find relief from the grueling physical requirements of the sport, but ultimately he said, cheating is an indefensible solution.
“Fighters will sometimes train three times a day,” Rogan said. “Maybe they’ll run, do sprints in the morning, and then they’ll do some kind of strength and conditioning in the afternoon. Then they’ll do wrestling or jiu-jitsu at night. Then they’ll vary. The next day they might do kickboxing in the morning and running in the afternoon, then weight lifting at night. But you’re talking about working out three times in a day because you have all these different skills you have to work on.
“You have to work on your wrestling, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu. There’s not enough time in the day, and there’s not enough time to recover. So that’s when comes in Dr. Feelgood. He comes along, and bang.”
Perhaps the most surprising failed drug test came from Silva. The former longtime middleweight champion cruised through 18 previous UFC fights. Following his UFC 183 victory over Diaz, though, came confirmation he flunked an out-of-competition test administered prior to the event.
UFC 183 marked Silva’s comeback fight after a 13-month layoff due to a broken leg suffered in a December 2013 loss to champ Chris Weidman. While Silva has claimed his innocence, Rogan had no problem speculating the Brazilian’s usage may have been a way to speed up the recovery process.
“Anderson was coming back from an injury, and the way I understand it, he tested positive for metabolites,” Rogan said. “It was leaving his system, a very trace amount. If that was the case, it could be that he got on some steroids to recover quicker. Because what steroids do, is they allow you to recover quicker.
“So if he’s 39 years old and he breaks his leg, you’re looking at a long-ass recovery period. Or you take steroids and you recover in nine months instead of 15 months or fill in the blank. That could be what’s going on, but the reality is it’s illegal. If it takes you 15 months, the excuse cannot be, ‘I’m going to take some illegal drugs so I heal quicker.’ No, you’re never allowed to take steroids.”
What worries Rogan most, he said, is that PED use among MMA fighters only appears to be increasing. The UFC and select athletic commissions have upped the ante in recent months with more sophisticated testing. However, more can clearly be done, especially with the astounding success rate of random tests.
While an even greater effort is needed to catch cheaters, the real question remains: Will the testing ever be completely on par with the methods of the users? Rogan isn’t sure, but he does know anabolic-steroid use is still relatively young. As time goes on, the science will likely only become more advanced.
“The reality is, especially with this whole steroid epidemic, one thing we have to realize is the use of steroids is less than 100 years old,” Rogan said. “There’s always been something people have taken, but the actual use of anabolic steroids in human beings is relatively recent in human history. As time goes on, they’re going to create more powerful, crazy sh-t, and it’s going to get to the point where you’re going to test negative because it’s not in your system anymore, but your body will forever change.”
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