Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger put through enhanced drug testing program ahead of UFC 173


ESPN.com revealed that both Jake Ellenberger and Robbie Lawler had drug tests administered by the NSAC ahead of their UFC 173 match-up.

UFC 173 competitors Jake Ellenberger and Robbie Lawler were subjected to the enhanced drug-testing program implemented by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

ESPN.com's Brent Okamoto, who spoke with NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar regarding the details of the new program, first announced the news.

It appears that the enhanced program entails urine and blood testing, as well as Carbon Isotope Ratio testing, which is something Aguilar sees becoming the "norm" for big fights in Las Vegas.

"This is going to become the norm for all major fights in Las Vegas, both boxing and mixed martial arts," Aguilar told ESPN.com. "It lets everyone who is going to fight in Nevada know they have the chance to participate in an enhanced process. "We are no longer going to just test fight night or post-fight. We're going to test depending on how we feel as a commission."

Aguilar suggests that problem with implementing the testing on a regular basis is that it is simply "not cost efficient."  The most expensive part of the program is the collection process, which can bring up the total cost to as much as $45, 000.

"The expensive part is the collection," Aguilar said. "The lab is about $12,000 to do the analysis and collections, but you have to remain consistent in who the collector is and how they collect a sample. You don't give the fighters any notice. The collector calls and says, 'I'm half an hour away from your house. Be prepared to provide a sample.' That same collector has to fly from Salt Lake City to where the fighters live and train, collect a sample and then fly back. That's the most expensive part."

UFC 173 takes place May 24 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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