Photo: Esther Lin / MMAFighting.com
Roy Nelson strikes a major blow in the PR war with Shane Carwin by enrolling himself in VADA's drug testing program despite Shane Carwin's refusal to do the same.
We've covered a lot of developments in the UFC's Roy Nelson/Shane Carwin/drug testing saga over the past few weeks and now it appears that Nelson is simply doing the smartest possible thing. According to an e-mail sent by VADA to MixedMartialArts.com, Roy has enrolled in VADA testing himself. He will be subject to random testing through December 15.
Carwin's camp balked at the testing following an article being posted on the VADA website saying that Carwin was only on The Ultimate Fighter to show young fighters how to dope. The article was not written by anyone at VADA and was placed on the site by an intern. The agency says the intern was fired for his actions.
There was also an issue where Nelson lied to media, saying that they'd agreed to VADA testing when they had not.
Carwin's management has focused in on this and the article as proof that VADA can't be trusted while saying they'd be willing to do "WADA testing" which Nelson won't pay for (VADA offered to sponsor the testing for free). VADA, of course, only uses WADA accredited labs and sample collectors.
I'm still confused why WADA is good enough unless VADA is the one overseeing the testing schedule given that VADA can't change the results of a WADA conducted test or they'd quickly be outed by the lab and would lose credibility, be sued..etc.
But rather than go round-and-round, Nelson has taken steps to show that he is clean. So even though he was caught in a lie, Nelson is clearly dominating the PR war here.
If it seems that I've been unfairly hard on Shane during all of this, maybe I am. But he gets off incredibly light considering his direct ties to a steroid lab. A reminder of that situation:
Carwin was named as a past customer of Applied Pharmacy Services (APS) after a federal judge handed one of its pharmacists, J. Michael Bennett, a four-year prison term for selling anabolic steroids produced in Mobile.
The government's case against the pharmacy, which earned convictions against five men, charged that APS shipped over 750,000 dosages of steroids to 17 different "rogue" doctors and clinics over a two-year span from Aug. 2004 to Aug. 2006. Prosecutors reportedly referred to the defendants as "drug dealers in lab coats."
Carwin was named as one of the recipients by Assistant U.S. Attorney Donna Dobbins. The 35-year-old Carwin made his mixed martial arts debut in Oct. 2005 but did not join the UFC until May 2008.
While that was prior to his time with the UFC, it's still something that shows prior behavior that gives plenty of reason to be skeptical. He had the chance to undergo testing that would show if he is truly fighting clean these days and his camp has appeared (in my opinion, anyway) to be looking for any reason to not have advanced testing done by the undisputed top dog in the combat sports drug testing game right now.
So yeah, maybe I'm being hard on Shane. But I don't really care.