The United States Anti-Doping Authority (USADA) has been widely hailed for upping the level of drug-testing and punishment in the UFC but former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre says that there are still blind spots present in the system which fighters can take advantage of.
St-Pierre, who has been a vocal opponent of performance enhancing drugs in sport, has said that no matter how stringent the USADA testing becomes there will still be fighter who are able to find a workaround.
“Let’s say I want to have an injection of a product that will last in my body for two days or one day. So I know that particular day I cannot be tested because if I am, I’m screwed,” St-Pierre explained.
“So I put on my [USADA] whereabouts [app] that I’m traveling to freakin’ Antarctica or anywhere, somewhere that is believable, and then I come back two days after.
“That substance will stay in my body for a certain period of time, but the effect of it will last maybe a month. And now we’re talking about performance-enhancing drugs — people, they misunderstand this.”
Part of the reason that St-Pierre took a four-year hiatus from the sport beginning in late 2013 was, he says, a protest against a culture of PED use which was becoming more prevalent in MMA though he stops short of directly accusing anyone.
“Even today, do I think there’s a lot of guys who take steroids and performance-enhancing drugs? Yes. And I have an idea of who, and I’m pretty — like, just for my gut feeling — 99.9 percent sure. But I don’t have the evidence.
“It’s not what you think, it’s not what you know. It’s what you can prove. And I don’t know,” he continued. “I’m in the game, I’m talking to a lot of people. Between fighters, we know who does. There’s only a few handfuls of people who do the whole thing [in regards to supplying PEDs]. One guy could do this team, this team, this team, and one other guy can do two teams.
“The word goes around, man. Especially when you’re a complete fighter, the word goes around.”