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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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

No Holds Barred: Nevada State Athletic Commission Hearing on Drug Testing and Brain Health Study 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman plays the audio from the main part of the meeting on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, of the Nevada State Athletic Commission in Las Vegas, regarding changes in their drug-testing procedures, and a proposal for a free brain health study for fighters.

Following a hearing on drug-testing on June 9, 2010, the commission, once a leader in the quest for fighter safety, rebuffed the many people who have advocated that they adopt the internationally-accepted procedures of the World Anti-Doping Agency, including random and unannounced blood and urine testing for banned and dangerous substances. Instead, the commission amended their procedures merely by adding some additional analysis to their existing annual blood tests for licensing, such as measuring hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. This exposed the position of some on the commission who had argued that urine tests alone caught everything. This position has already been discredited in the medical community, since urine tests cannot at present detect cheating by use of human growth hormone and other substances. But the latest change by the commission continues to make it very easy for dope cheats to evade getting caught, since they will know exactly when they will be tested.

The commission also approved a proposal by the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to conduct free brain scans and physicals for boxers and mixed martial artists over a period of several years. The purpose is to measure the effects of these combat sports on these athletes, in particular on their brains and neurological health. Where this leads is unknown, but it definitely is a step in the right direction.

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