Several months ago, following a slew of unexpected drug test failures, the UFC announced plans to implement a new random out-of-competition drug testing policy, effective July 1st. They also announced the hiring of BALCO investigator Jeff Novitzky to oversee the new regimen.
While fans and pundits generally agree that this is a positive step for the promotion, as well as the sport overall, at least one fighter believes it is an infringement on his rights.
Speaking with MMAFighting.com's Guilherme Cruz, former PRIDE champion Wanderlei Silva explained that, while he is against steroids and cheating in sports, he believes fighters have a right to privacy and should not be subjected to random testing throughout the entire year.
"If I'm going to fight you today, I have to be clean today. There are anti-inflammatories and painkillers that are considered doping, but are not. I'm against steroids. Steroids are bad. But the fighter has a right to do anything he wants out of competition. That's his right. You can't get into his life and take his blood to see what he's doing. I'm against all types of drugs and steroids, but the athlete has the right to have a private life. He has to be clean on the day of the competition. Out of competition, that's his life."
While out-of-competition testing is commonplace in various other sports, including tennis, which is known for exceptionally rigid testing procedures, Wanderlei believes that the privacy violation is not only immoral, but unconstitutional.
"I heard some things that the commission did to fighters...it looks like they showed up at the champion's house at 6:50 a.m. to test him. What the f--k is that? Is this a joke? I also heard they forced a famous fighter to undress in front of everybody in order to be tested. What is that? We are being violated. They are taking out our rights as citizens. The test has to be done on the day of the competition. You have to be at the same level of your opponent on fight day. That's against the constitution. You can't have this law. They are not athletes and they don't know what we have to go through to be there and put on a show."
Transcription taken from MMAFighting.com.