Steve Sievert of The Houston Chronicle makes the case via Dana White. Notable quote:
I'm still grappling with the fine line between being too punitive and too lax when it comes to dishing out punishments for steroid use. I've suggested previously that perhaps if the UFC paid their fighters more they'd be less inclined to use steroids, but upon reflection that argument is deeply flawed. The pressure to succeed only increases with exposure and notoriety and ultimately, that's one of the main triggers for steroid use. Paying more
But suspending a fighter for a year is also rather harsh, at least on the face of it (and when fighter's are denied cornerman's licenses, that just adds insult to injury). The main argument used to support this penalty generally relies on the "punishment fits the crime" angle. Some suggest it's a deterrent, but I only buy that for those who were toying with the idea of using steroids. In other words, it'll keep the fringe away, but the hardcore won't be affected by this. The decision to use steroids is ultimately an irrational one if you believe the health warnings and take into consideration the various sorts of penalties, so why on earth do we expect those who use steroids to think more rationally about the penalties (if such a thing even exists) when the penalties become stiffer? At some point - and this differs for us all - the penalties get harsher and harsher, but with diminishing returns.