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California State Athletic Commission Expands Tests

The CSAC has decided testing for performance enhancing drugs isn't enough (or perhaps they came to terms with the fact that 'marijuana as a performance enhancer' is exceptionally weak). In addition to drugs that have little to do with MMA compeition such as marijuana, two more drugs are being added to the list:

The California State Athletic Commission will begin effectively immediately to include MDMA (Ecstasy) and Oxycodone (an addictive painkiller) in its testing for drugs of abuse.

The expanded testing is a result of what the Commission calls "the very serious problems with drug use in the State of California in regard to combative sports."

This is truly strange. I'm not sure what Ecstasy has to do with MMA competition, even from a recovery and recuperative standpoint. It does have some pain relieving features, but it's clearly not the easist, most affordable or most effective way to deal with pain resulting from injuries. MDMA can be good at relieving chronic pain, but it doesn't easily fit into a training lifestyle. It can be incapacitating to a strong degree and is clearly not the most preferable option to deal with pain.

With respect to Oxycodone, the situation is somewhat different. While the drug can do an excellent job with pain relief, any athlete prescribed this by a doctor - much less one using illegally - shouldn't be competing in MMA at that moment. This is for people with very serious, chronic and often times irreconcilable injuries.

Should the athletic commission test for these drugs? While I'm less concerned with the Oxycodone tests (yet still apprehensive), I certainly do not understand what MDMA has to do with the obligation of the athletic commission. Their push for "fighter safety" is noble, but the nobility of the cause does not give it free reign to do what it pleases. As aforementioned, this drug isn't exactly conducive to the fighter lifestyle, so my worry here is the commission will just become a de facto drug tester without taking into consideration the limits and appropriateness of it's role. Certainly in the wake of Sammy Vasquez we must take a refreshed look at our safety procedures, but we must also exercise restraint when it comes to the penalization process.

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