Jessica Eye had her win against Sarah Kaufman overturned to a no contest after testing positive for marijuana. That was in Texas but she’ll be back in action at UFC 170 against Alexis Davis because it takes place in Las Vegas. Nevada allows a higher limit of dope use. She is still on probated suspension in the “Lone Star State.”
“It is ridiculous,” says UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub. “If we want to be accepted as a major sport, one that is on the level of the NFL or NBA, marijuana shouldn’t be allowed. No other sport spends as much time talking about it as we do.”
Schaub is spot on in his assessment. The tired and unsustainable arguments about it not being a performance enhancer is moot. It’s illegal so why should any organization allow it if they really want to be respected?
When the NFL sends out a memo saying players can toke up if they are playing the Seahawks or Broncos, then maybe there should be reconsideration. Silly isn’t it?
So too the UFC saying they have raised their limit by nano grams. When that happened immediately there were red flags flying: 1) that it was okay by their definition and 2) how much is too much and 3) as we see now, all the confusion and embarrassment it causes when two states disagree.
Look at the same argument in other sports. Well, look at them. They deal with their issues. One of the greats of his generation Alex Rodriguez is out the entire year for suspicions of continual use of performance enhancers. It will cost him more than the UFC bankroll for their top fighters in a year.
When he threatened to challenge it, even his own powerful union wouldn’t back him. The players realize the shame over a decade brought on by looking the other way at drug use. They want to clean their own house.
Schaub understands as well as anyone. He played major college football and was in a pro training camp. He has a well-rounded view of the big picture of sports. A tainted incident here, and then there, and back over here, will never make a sport grow beyond a certain area.
The state agencies need these fight groups and will listen to sincere and definitive statements that enough is enough, here is our policy. Flat out we don’t need to coddle the marijuana and other drug use being allowed.
MMA, and specifically the UFC, are near maxing out in the U.S. in terms of pay per view watchers and on site attendance. The stars are limited, the big fights are being recycled. The ignoring of marijuana use, and the still ugly gray area of Testosterone Replacement Therapy, being accepted does nothing to improve an image or entice new fans.
And it is simple, set rules one way or the other. Allow it and take your chances of being known as ground breakers or enablers. But the straight dope is not to keep walking the current line. It is too wobbly.
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