Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nevada State Athletic Commission Holds Hearing June 9 on Drug Testing 

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, the governmental body which regulates the combat sports of boxing, mixed martial arts, and kickboxing in the state of Nevada, held a hearing Wednesday, June 9, in Las Vegas, discussing many topics. One of those, however, stood out and took up over half the meeting: "Review of Protocol for Steroid/Drug Testing and Disciplinary Matters".

Commission chair Pat Lundvall explained that this meeting was for "information gathering" purposes only and not to decide upon any action. Four main speakers presented their views, and were questioned by commission members.

Three of them basically defended the current commission practices, which only utilize urine testing. They were Dr. Robert Voy, the former Chief Medical Officer and Director of Sports Medicine and Science for the United States Olympic Committee; Dr. David Watson, currently the chief ringside physician for the commission; and boxing attorney Pat English. They argued that blood testing for the banned substance human growth hormone was either ineffective or unable to stand up in court. "We're doing a great job," concluded Dr. Watson.

On the other side was Travis Tygart, the CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which is the independent agency which is recognized by the U.S. Congress as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American, and Paralympic sport in the United States, and is affiliated with the World Anti-Doping Agency. He characterized the current testing by the Nevada commissions as "inadequate." He said blood testing was needed not only to detect doping through use of human growth hormone, but also synthetic hemoglobin (HBOC), blood transfusions (HBT), and some types of EPO. He also called for "no advance notice" random urine and blood testing, as had been done by USADA for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Shane Mosley fight of May 1, 2010, and defended the HGH blood tests as "reliable" which would stand up in court.

This was an open, public meeting, which was also available to those who called in by phone to listen to it. We thus have a recording of the audio of the part of this meeting devoted to drug testing. Because this part lasted about two hours, we have divided it up into two parts, with all the discussion just as it happened.

You can listen to or download part one here. You can listen to or download part two here.

Part one includes the testimony of Dr. Robert Voy and Dr. David Watson. Part two includes the testimony of Travis Tygart and Pat English.

No doubt what was said at this hearing will be debated for some time to come, and we hope this assists the public in deciding for themselves what is the best course of action to take.

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