ben-askren-9.jpgBen Askren said he had no intention of criticizing Bellator MMA when he tweeted Monday that he’d only been drug tested once in eight bouts with the tournament-based promotion.

That job, he said, falls principally to athletic commissions tasked with overseeing the promotions.

“It’s not really Bellator’s job, per se,” Askren today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “They could hire outside testing. But they’re a newer organization, so it’s going to cost a lot of money.

“So it’s more the commission’s job than anything. For whatever reason, I just happened to have fought in a lot of places where the commission just didn’t take the time to test.”

The Bellator champion’s comments come at a time of increasing scrutiny around drug testing and performance-enhancer use in MMA. Several high-profile UFC fighters have tested positive for banned substances this year and been suspended or released by the promotion. Meanwhile, debate persists over the use of doctor-prescribed testosterone; Saturday’s UFC on FX 8 headliner between Vitor Belfort and Luke Rockhold has been dominated by headlines about Belfort’s use of testosterone-replacement therapy.

Askren, who was subject to extensive drug testing as a collegiate and Olympic wrestler, said steroid use is “everywhere in MMA” and speculated that some of his previous opponents could have been using performance-enhancers. He declined to offer any names of suspected users, however.

“I know in the back of my mind that some people who have been fighting for certain gyms are known for their steroid use, so it does kind of bother me that they weren’t tested,” he said. “But I figure you’ve got to go in there and beat a guy up, no matter what.”

Askren, who is expected to defend his belt this fall against Season 7 tourney winner Andrey Koreshkov, admitted he may have been mistaken in saying he’d been commission-tested just once, but believed the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission was the only one to screen him for performance-enhancers and drugs of abuse. He won the Bellator welterweight championship belt in a bout held in October 2010 at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. (PSAC Executive Director Greg Sirb said it’s the commission’s policy to test all title fights, but he said drug testing results for the event had been archived and weren’t immediately accessible. A Bellator official said Askren was tested and passed.)

Following his title win, Askren defended his belt three times in bouts held in Kansas; Ontario, Canada; and, most recently, Oklahoma. MMAjunkie.com was unable to verify whether he’d been tested in Kansas or in Ontario, which lets promoters decide whether or not to test.

His most recent title defense came on tribal land, which isn’t subject to the regulations of the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission. However, he volunteered to participate in an independent testing program led by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) and passed.

The champ’s Bellator career began with three non-title bouts overseen by state athletic commissions. MMAjunkie.com couldn’t immediately verify whether testing had taken place, but similar fights frequently elude scrutiny.

Bellator could order independent-laboratory testing, which the UFC uses in jurisdictions without formal athletic commissions, or strike a promotion-wide deal with VADA, which has offered out-of-competition blood and urine testing for the UFC. As of yet, the promotion hasn’t announced any plans to do either.

A Bellator official did not comment on the possibility of independent testing but noted that all fighters were tested and passed following Bellator 92, which took place in Temecula, Calif., and was overseen by the California State Athletic Commission.

“The UFC does it at international events,” Askren offered. “If they want to take an increased role, that would be cool. And if they don’t, I think commissions will get better and better.”

In response to an inquiry about additional testing, Bellator Director of Public Relations Anthony Mazzuca wrote via email, “Testing by state athletic commissions is discretionary by each commission, and Bellator is held to exactly the same standard drug-testing rules and regulations as is the UFC. Bellator conducted 11 events from January through April 2013, and each and every one of those events were fully controlled and regulated ABC-sanctioned events.”

Askren, though, wishes that the regulatory bodies didn’t have to test at all.

“I wish people were just honest and just compete fairly, but some people, they’re chicken s–ts, and they’re scared they can’t win on their own,” he said.

For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Kevin “Kimbo Slice’ Ferguson Dead at 42

  • 18 days ago
  • 797 views

Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson has passed away in a Florida hospital. Bellator MMA president Scott Coker confirmed the news on Monday evening. He was 42. read news >>

Report: Former Bellator Fighter Shahbulat Shamhalaev Shot Multiple Times in Restaurant Altercation

  • 23 days ago
  • 82 views

Former Bellator MMA fighter Shahbulat Shamhalaev was hospitalized on Wednesday in Makhachkala, Russia after being shot "several times" while dining at a local restaurant. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 88 Medical Suspensions: Four Fighters Face Six-Month Layoffs

  • 23 days ago
  • 4 views

The Nevada State Athletic Commission released the medical suspensions stemming from UFC Fight Night 88: Almeida vs. Garbrandt on Thursday. read news >>

With Bellator Contract on the Line, Bobby Brents Sees Right Through Shamrock FC Opponent

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

Bobby Brents isn't looking past Shamrock FC opponent Bubba Grant, but he sees right through him with an eye on a Bellator contract. read news >>

Bubba Grant Staring Down a Breakout Year with Bellator Deal at Stake

  • 29 days ago
  • 4 views

Bubba Grant never gets too far ahead of himself, but winning a Shamrock FC belt and a Bellator contract could provide him with a breakout year. read news >>

Three New Bouts Complete Bellator 156: Galvao vs. Dantas 2 Fight Card

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

Three contests have been added to Bellator 156: Galvao vs. Dantas 2 on June 17 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, completing the fight card. read news >>

Jeremy Stephens Video: Facts are Renan Barao’s Camp is Losing Since USADA Drug Testing

  • 28 days ago
  • 37 views

Heading into his showdown with Renan Barao, Jeremy Stephens didn't accuse the Brazilian fighter of outright doping in the past, but the insinuation was there. read news >>

Super Prospect Darrion Caldwell, Melvin Guillard Top Bellator 159 Card

  • 25 days ago
  • 8 views

Darrion Caldwell, a national college wrestling champion and one of the brightest up-and-coming bantamweights in MMA, will vie for a title shot this summer when he faces Joe Taimanglo in the main even read news >>

Darrion Caldwell vs. Joe Taimanglo Headline Bellator 159

  • 24 days ago
  • 9 views

Bellator returns to Kansas with a pivotal matchup between undefeated phenom Darrion Caldwell and Joe Taimanglo to determine the No. 1 bantamweight contender. read news >>

Urijah Faber Big Supporter of the New Drug Testing and Weight Cutting Rules (UFC 199 Video)

  • 24 days ago
  • 21 views

Count Urijah Faber as one of the fighters that is a big supporter of recent changes that include surprise drug tests and stricter guidelines for weight cutting. read news >>