UFC 146 Combatants Face Surprise Drug Tests Following Press Conference
The Nevada state athletic commission took advantage of a Tuesday pre-fight press conference held within state lines, electing to order surprise drug tests for all six fighters who appeared at the UFC 146 event in Las Vegas.
The testing was done following its conclusion, NSAC executive director Keith Kizer told MMA Fighting, confirming a tweet by Ron Kruck of "Inside MMA."
Kizer said it was the first time the commission had screened multiple participants of a mixed martial arts event during a press conference so far ahead of time, though they had done the same in July for a championship boxing match scheduled to take place in August between Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko.
"We brought the drug test to them instead of making them go to the drug test," Kizer said. "If they were not in Las Vegas, I would need to find them a lab, which is of course, much more of a hassle."
The six fighters tested were UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, challenger Alistair Overeem, former champs Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir, and Roy Nelson and Antonio Silva.
The test counts as one of the two random draws Overeem must submit himself to after a hearing with the commission last December. That meeting was necessary after Overeem took six days to submit to a requested drug test while moving from Nevada to Holland, and Overeem agreed to the stipulation in order to go forward with his UFC 141 fight against Brock Lesnar, which he won via first-round TKO.
NSAC has long had the ability to test fighters out of competition, but only recently gained extra funding to implement it after a bill was signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval to increase department revenue.
According to Kizer, the commission currently has a deal in place with Quest Diagnostics which allows the lab to send testers on-site to obtain samples. After the conclusion of the UFC 146 press conference, the fighters were taken in groups of two to an MGM Grand VIP lounge to submit their sample.
Kizer could not say when the results would be made available, saying they may not be publicly released until after the event's May 26 completion. Of course, that would likely change if any of the tests came back positive and put one of the night's big fights into jeopardy.