The UFC had their seasonal press conference in Atlanta on Friday April 12th, as the UFC showcased some of it’s biggest stars ahead of a busy summer schedule. It was the first opportunity to see Dana White answer questions since TJ Dillashaw was busted for an EPO violation and subsequently banned for two years.
Shockingly in the main press conference, none of the journalists present asked Dana directly about the TJ violation. It was actually Ben Askren who brought it up indirectly.
Marlon Moraes who is down to challenge Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title was one of the fighters present. His manager has made unsubstantiated claims that he knows of at least 5 current UFC fighters that are taking EPO.
Askren in his cheeky, off-beat way grabbed the microphone to ask a question – obviously he was getting bored answering them
” Hey Dana , What have we got to do to get Mr Novitsky (UFC VP of Health and performance) to Visit Marlon’s manager. Because he says – for sure – that he knows of 5 people, for sure, that are using EPO. Can we like send the DEA over there “
Dana gets super anxious and nervy any time Ben Askren is in his vicinity and was clearly uncomfortable being asked questions by him at the press conference. Ben is at the stage of his career where he basically -doesn’t give a fuck – he has managed to have a hugely successful career without the UFC thank you very much. You get the impression he treats every UFC Event or fight like it’s merely bonus territory at the end of his career. As such he is a loose cannon and you never know where he will aim the wrecking ball next.
Dana’s answer to his question was revealing though.
” Yeah Listen, I don’t like getting into the whole drug testing thing – I leave that up to Novitsky but I was shocked They (USADA) weren’t testing for EPO. That’s pretty crazy “
Now to be fair to the media and Dana White they did address a couple of questions regarding Dillashaw at the media scrum after the ceremonial weigh-ins for UFC 236. White admits that performing enhancing drugs do not come much bigger than EPO.
” What shocked me is what I am paying USADA and that didn’t get caught earlier…….There is no excuse for that….Look we are paying all this money for USADA to make sure there is, you know, a fair playing field. I am always 100% confident that if your doing something you are going to get caught. That wasn’t the case here and that bothers me “
What Dana White seems to be admitting is that USADA have not always been testing for EPO at certain events or at certain times. Which is a bit like a fucking breathalyser test that somehow over-looks the alcohol in Guinness.
Is Jeff Novitsky asleep at the wheel and what the hell are USADA playing at?