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Cody Garbrandt: UFC drug testing should either have no exceptions or ‘let it all be legal’

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With TJ Dillashaw’s recent suspension for EPO use and Jon Jones’ recent exception for the continuing presence of Turinabol metabolites, former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt is hoping to see more consistency from USADA.

When Urijah Faber’s fiancée recently recounted a story about the UFC’s drug testing partner showing up at the hospital to collect a sample from the now-unretired bantamweight, while she was in labor with the couple’s first child, the question had to be asked: Is USADA going too far? Are fighters giving up too much of their privacy in the unending battle to get PEDs out of MMA?

In the mind of at least one Team Alpha Male training partner, the drug testing organization either needs to take an even firmer hand, or just back off completely. Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt spoke to the assembled media backstage at UFC Fight Night: De Randamie vs. Ladd, where he gave an update on his plans to return to the cage, as well as his views on the need for more strict drug testing in the UFC (transcript via MMA Fighting).

“He stole a lot from me,” Garbrandt said, speaking of disgraced former champion TJ Dillashaw’s back-to-back TKO wins over him to take and defend the UFC bantamweight title. “I wasn’t surprised at all. I was surprised that’s the first time USADA’s ever tested for EPO. I stated back in – what was it 2017? – that I’d like to do more invasive testing. We have to log in everywhere we go. We have to answer the door at 6:00am, piss, urine, blood, everything, write down every supplement we have. There should be no boundaries or picos or this or that. You either cheat or you don’t.

“The first time he got tested for EPO was when he fought Henry? It’s crazy. What are they even testing for. We’re not in there shooting steroids and getting big, they’re doing EPO. They’re doing all that kind of sh*t to cardio base. I knew that. I knew T.J. was on that and that’s why I said I wanted more invasive testing. He’s been on it for five, six years. And that’s not the only thing he’s on. There’s a lot of other fighters that are on sh-t too. So, if you’re gonna draw a line on what we can do or how we can test – you can’t keep this sample, we can’t detect EPO – then what are we getting tested for? Let it all be legal and let’s all get juiced up and go in there and f*ck each other up.”

Despite his misgivings, however, Garbrandt is still looking forward to returning to the Octagon soon. ‘No Love’ stated that he hopes to fight sometime in November, following his recovery from a hand injury suffered in his latest loss to Pedro Munhoz. And that he’s targeting a top-5 opponent. In the meantime, he was on hand to witness Faber’s triumphant re-entry into the bantamweight division—via a first round knockout of #15 ranked Ricky Simon.