O.k., so there are now dozens of posts about the great vasenline scandal, with hundreds of comments. What seems to be completely overlooked by almost everyone on both sides of the debate is the initial question of whether GSP and his corner actually violated any rule in the first place. Everyone seems to be starting with the position that he did and then debating intent or debating who is to blame or debating whether it actually made any difference in the outcome.
Why is that? Where is the discussion of the actual rule and whether it was violated in the first place?
It isn't that hard to use google and find the actual rule at issue. The rule is part of the "General Requirements for Contests and Exhibitions" and is titled "Physical Appearance of Unarmed Combatants." It's in the Nevada State Athletic Commissions Unified Rules. It is, specifically, Rule NAC 467.598. You can read it yourself right HERE.
NAC 467.598 Physical appearance of unarmed combatants. (NRS 467.030)
1. Each unarmed combatant must be clean and present a tidy appearance.
2. The excessive use of grease or any other foreign substance may not be used on the face or body of an unarmed combatant. The referees or the Commission’s representative in charge shall cause any excessive grease or foreign substance to be removed.
3. The Commission’s representative shall determine whether head or facial hair presents any hazard to the safety of the unarmed combatant or his opponent or will interfere with the supervision and conduct of the contest or exhibition. If the head or facial hair of an unarmed combatant presents such a hazard or will interfere with the supervision and conduct of the contest or exhibition, the unarmed combatant may not compete in the contest or exhibition unless the circumstances creating the hazard or potential interference are corrected to the satisfaction of the Commission’s representative.
4. An unarmed combatant may not wear any jewelry or other piercing accessories while competing in the contest or exhibition.
[Athletic Comm’n, § 18, eff. 4-25-78]—(NAC A 11-2-88; 12-2-97; R070-01, 8-31-2001)
The plain language of the rule does *not* prohibit the presence of "any" grease at all on the body. It prohibits "excessive use." It also provides that the referee or the Commission's representatives are supposed to remove it.
So, in this case, what we have documented are several great gifs showing Nurse rubbing GSP's shoulders, back, and chest as part of a ritual that GSP always has done (and others in Jackson's camp seem to have done as well). This was after nurse had rubbed the vaseline on GSP's face.
Was there an "excessive" amount of vaseline rubbed onto his body? No idea. But the fact that nobody seems to even be bothering with that initial part of the rule is troubling. The rule does not provide that the presence of "any" grease at all is somehow automatically a violation.
Perhaps an investigation is appropriate. That investigation needs to start with trying to figure out what is "excessive" and whether this (or any of his other fights) constituted excessive. Perhaps changing the rule to prohibit any grease on the body is appropriate. But that's not the rule we have now.