By: Josh Gross
Why should fighters stop doping when the risk doesn’t come close to outweighing the reward?
This needs to be clear off the top: Zuffa is not responsible for mixed martial artists who dope up.
Athletes make, and will continue to make, decisions to use banned substances regardless of the deterrents and penalties. There will always be someone seeking an edge. Someone who realizes they can’t rise to the top without the aid of modern science. Someone willing to play a risky game in order to train harder than his or her body would normally allow.
That’s the reality in the money-rich, winning-is-everything sports world mixed martial arts has joined over the past decade.
This also needs to be clear: Zuffa can, with one move, catalyze a sea change in MMA’s widespread performance-enhancing drug culture. The purveyors of Strikeforce and the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the uncontested pinnacle of the sport, could decide that banned substance users aren’t welcome at their events. That they won’t do business with fighters who dope. They won’t make money with ‘em. That the risk for using must, for the first time, outweigh the reward — because it most certainly does not now.
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