Las Vegas, NV — For once, there’s some good news stemming from a USADA drug test. That’s thanks to Daniel Cormier, who is the first fighter to hit the 50 test mark — all clean.
While Holly Holm was previously honored for 50 clean tests, UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky noted that DC actually hit the mark first. And he’s already well part 50 tests, actually hitting the 54 test mark.
That’s certainly a milestone, Novitzky pointed out. Sure, the common thought is, athletes shouldn’t use performance enhancing drugs. But it’s not that simple, he explained. “The level of care that needs to be exercised in ensuring not just that you wake up and say ‘I’m not going to do steroids or EPO,’ but everything literally that you ingest, that you rub on your skin, you have to make sure is going to adhere to this program. In addition to that, this specific program, which DC has undergone 54 times in the last five years, in order to find DC those 54 times he’s had to accurately update his whereabouts — where he’s going to be.”
“That’s no small task either. If you look at other professional sports, normally their drug tests are done immediately after a game,” Novitzky continued. “There’s a note on their locker saying ‘hey come see the drug tester.’ Or right after a practice. In this instance DC has likely been woken up early in the morning dozens of times. Been kept up late at night. Had his practice interrupted. So there is something, in my opinion, to be said and recognized for what DC has done and achieved.”
Cormier himself spoke about the milestone, stating that “I’ve done a lot of things in my career, and honestly this is one of the more proud things that I’ve accomplished.”
“To be able to compete at a high level for a long time, and to receive this, 85 tests [including his tests prior to the UFC], all clean tests— to do it the right way means a ton to me,” he said. “Being a guy that wants to encourage youth sports and youth athletics, you have to do things the right way. Otherwise your message goes above kids’ heads.”
“There have been times that I’ve lashed out at USADA,” Cormier admitted. “And all these other things. But they’re doing a great job. They’re doing as great a job as any testing program could do for a sport that’s constantly evolving. And the testing is evolving with the sport.”
“The UFC is better today because of USADA,” he would later add — quite the endorsement from a fighter who simultaneously held titles in two weight classes.
Watch the full media scrum, held at the UFC Apex as part of the UFC 248 media day, with Daniel Cormier above!