John Kavanagh proposes idea for major change to how drug cheats are punished
Little doubt remains when an athlete tests positive for EPO.
The go-to excuse for athletes who test positive for most prohibited substances is to point to a potentially contaminated supplement but that is not a possibility with recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) aka EPO.
"Injectable only," as noted by UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky, via ESPN. "On a scale of seriousness in anti-doping, it's up near the top."
There is a relatively small detection window when administered correctly and in the vast majority of failed tests, the athlete simply made an error while injecting him/herself with EPO.
TJ Dillashaw became just the second UFC fighter in the United States Anti-Doping Agency era to test positive for EPO after Gleison Tibau and Dillashaw's willingness to "relinquish" his bantamweight title makes an awful lot of sense now.
On Tuesday night, Dillashaw received a two-year suspension which he didn't contest and his legacy has undeniably been tarnished forever.
— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) April 9, 2019
The failed test has led to understandable complaints from former rival Cody Garbrandt, who was knocked out on two occasions by Dillashaw.
Straight Blast Gym head coach John Kavanagh has an interesting idea on how to reduce the amount of doping in the UFC, suggesting that the offending individual should not only face a ban but the UFC should go back and overturn any wins for the fighter during a period of time equal to the suspension and then give any win bonuses from that period to the defeated opponent.
Just an idea. If it's a 2yr ban forward then also make it a 2yr ban previous. Any wins in that period overturned and win bonuses given to opponents. This is how you disincentivize cheats, remove the rewards fully.
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) April 10, 2019
Dillashaw has likely made at least $1 million from his last two years in the Octagon so even if he has to retire, he has earned plenty of money from the fight game and sitting out would be a lot easier to come to terms with when there's a healthy amount of money in one's bank.
Kavanagh's proposal to retrospectively hit drug cheats in the pocket would undoubtedly act as a further deterrent because it's only a matter of time before someone's career is ended after being on the receiving end of a strike from a fighter benefitting from performance enhancing drugs.
Something must be done to stamp this out.