Yesterday, the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety released the information that a local mixed martial arts trainer had pleaded guilty falsifying legal documents. Philip Dunlap of Advanced Fighting Systems admitted to forging medical forms and fight consent forms. Dunlap had submitted the forms saying that his fighters had passed their physicals as signed off by a doctor and consent to fight forms as signed by his fighters. In reality, the physicals were never even completed, much less been approved by a medical professional and the amateur fighters had not signed the consent forms.
Once Dunlap's infractions had been identified by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission (NJSAC), the case was handed over to the Division of Criminal Justice. Rather than stand trial, the trainer chose to give a guilty plea. The court is recommending a period of probation, 200 hours of community service, and a $5000 fine. Dunlap is expected to appear at his sentencing hearing on October 26th.
NJSAC Commissioner Aaron Davis addressed the issue:
The State Athletic Control Board’s main concern will always be the health and safety of the combative sport competitor, and the integrity of the contest. We are committed to working jointly with the Division of Criminal Justice in stopping the fraudulent submission of medical forms to the State of New Jersey. Every trainer investigated and arrested for this type of crime enables us to further uphold the integrity of the sport.
This philosophy of the New Jersey commission is in stark contrast to their west coast colleagues. It's no secret that the California SAC is in a complete state of disarray. Last week, we related how the CSAC had completely screwed the pooch in handling the drug tests for Strikeforce: Ronda vs. Kaufman. Now, we're seeing that the commission is not just grossly incompetent, they're intentionally and deliberately neglectful.
Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion has been chronicling the plethora of failures piling up in the California commission's offices. Recently he discovered that they have been blatantly condoning and encouraging the falsification of official documents. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
In order to understand what the lead inspectors are facing, it is important to understand what the front office is presenting them in the event packages. There is a sheet in the packet called a Who’s Who sheet where the proposed fights on a card are listed. There are categories such as the status of a fighter’s Federal ID, application status, fees paid, picture on file, and whether or not the fighter in question has completed medical records on file. It will either say "OK" and have a date of the specific medical file or it will say the word "need" in red.
In documents we examined regarding Who’s Who sheets, we discovered that there are instances where the sheets contain instructions in bold lettering to the lead inspector. The instructions to the lead inspector can involve asking the fighter to produce a copy of certain medical paperwork (like an eye exam). The instructions can also issue a directive to the lead inspector to get a fighter to fill out another licensing application form… and back-date it.
Let me repeat what I just wrote. Back-dating paperwork. As in falsifying and manipulating documents so that the ones on file appear to have been process on a certain date but were really processed on another date.
To summarize, what we're seeing here is the California State Athletic commission not only allowing, but endorsing in writing the exact actions a man in New Jersey is facing criminal prosecution for. Additionally, they're doing so without even a thought or threat of disciplinary action. These unethical actions show an utter disregard for fighter welfare and total lack of accountability within the California bureaucracy. And, that's only the tip of the iceberg.