Anthony Smith: USADA only ever tested me once, never pre or post fight
UFC middleweight fighter Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (25-12) is entering his third fight in the UFC octagon on December 3 when he takes on Elvis Mutapcic, but his biggest gripe might not be with his upcoming opponent; it is with the U.S. Anti-Doping Association (USADA).
I would appreciate @usantidoping constantly heckling me about quarterly whereabouts if they actually did something with them and tested me..
— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) September 29, 2016
— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) September 30, 2016
Smith’s complaint is in regards to the requirement that fighters under UFC contract must inform USADA as to there whereabouts at all times.
The quote below from an Aug. 24, 2015 MMAFighting article describes the ruling.
“UFC athletes will need to inform USADA of their whereabouts three months in advance under the promotion’s new drug-testing program, UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky told Ariel Helwani on last Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. If a fighter does not fill out or inaccurately fills out the online form multiple times, he or she could face sanctions.
Novitzky said that fighters will be required to fill out their whereabouts over the coming months every quarter with a USADA website tool. Fighters will then be instructed to download a mobile app to update their location if any changes need to be made. Novitzky said USADA expects fighters to inform them of where they’ll be staying overnight and where they will be during the day (at a gym, job or school, etc.), so they can be subjected to random, out-of-competition drug testing.
‘It is an inconvenience, but it’s necessary,’ Novitzky said. ‘In order to run a good program and be able to test 365 days a year, it’s one of the sacrifices our athletes need to make, so that they can tell the world that we have the strongest anti-doping program in it.'”
Fighters do not necessarily like being tested all the time and documenting all their travel plans so that they may be awoken or surprised by USADA officials for testing, but Smith does have a point.
Why should he have to keep providing the information if nothing is going to be done about it?
Some fighters have been tested multiple times for a single fight. It seems that there is a lack of consistency which could send the wrong message.