Anyone who has ever heard BJ Penn speak about performance enhancing drugs in MMA knows that he does not straddle the fence on the issue. He will tell anyone that is willing to listen that the problem must be stopped, so it was not surprising when the VADA approached him about sponsoring a pre-fight drug test for his fight with Rory MacDonald. Bloody Elbow's Chris Hall first mentioned the story here, but some interesting twists and turns have happened since then.
After Penn and MacDonald agreed to the testing, Penn promptly stopped his support of the program. Penn was unwilling to do the testing process under the VADA's terms, which entailed the results being released before the fight, as reported earlier today by MMA Junkie. See what BJ had to say about his change of heart after the jump.BJ released this statement via his twitter page July 8.
I was under the impression that everything was negotiable. Then vada says they can not negotiate when the results will be released. I do not know that my opponent is 100% clean. Only Rory knows this answer. If I train for 3 months and my opponent fails the drug test...how do I get compensated for my time? How do I get paid? Will you compensate me @DrJCBenjamin?
Dr. Johnny Benjamin (who he refers to in the tweet) had been highly critical of Penn's decision , which he spoke about at length here.
Penn's logic in his statement does make sense. He would rather fight MacDonald regardless of the results, and let the rest be sorted out later. He may have been a bit naive in thinking that the VADA would alter their normal procedures, because their protocols are never fiddled with. If he wants the testing to happen, he may be forced to make a concession he is not willing to make.
Penn has been persistent on the issue though, as he is now offering to pay for the testing procedures if the results will be held until the fight's conclusion. Whether the VADA will take him up on this offer is still to be seen. It appears Penn and the VADA both have good intentions here, but the details appear to be getting in the way of any actual testing occurring. It would be good for the sport to see two big stars passing more stringent testing, but it may be a while before VADA type testing is a part of MMA.