Fighters and athletes have long been blaming failed drug tests on supplements, but when are they going realize that the fans of the sport don’t want to hear excuses? Fans—and even the media—would rather the fighter or athlete just be honest and upfront about what happened so that we can all move on.

I’m not saying that there has never been an instance where an athlete has taken a supplement that is technically legal but still failed a drug test as a result. In fact, it happens frequently enough that major sports leagues like the NFL and Major League Baseball include various supplement manufacturers on lists for their players because of the lack of policing in the industry.

Even with that being said, fighters are professional athletes and their body is their job. There is no excuse whatsoever to “unknowingly” fail a drug test. If that happens, then the fighter did not do their due diligence and they put something into their body without knowing what the end result would be.

It’s not like there are not resources out there available to fighters to distinguish legitimate supplements from sketchy ones. State athletic commissions, doctors and even the internet can lead a fighter down the right path. It’s all a matter of how much time and effort the fighter wishes to put into doing things the right way.

Why is it that so many fighters feel the need to make an excuse when they fail a drug test? Why do they feel the need to lay the blame elsewhere?

We live in an age now where fans and the media are no longer blind to performance-enhancing drugs, and we are no longer shocked when an athlete fails a test. We all realize that professional athletes are always looking to gain a competitive advantage in their chosen field. While some look to do that through pure diet and exercise techniques, others look to go the pharmacological route.

There is no right or wrong answer as to which way is best. But if a fighter chooses the latter route, then they better own their results. Being ignorant is simply unacceptable; either a fighter knows what they are putting into their body or they are willing to roll the dice.

Supplements are not the only scapegoat either. Trainers get thrown under the bus by fighters on occasion as well. Following his failed test at UFC 168, Dennis Siver blamed a “new trainer” for his testing positive to hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin). Siver claimed that his new trainer had recommended a new diet method and the supplement that resulted in him failing his test. The redeeming factor in this case is that while Siver did make an excuse, he owned the result by saying, “I committed the fatal mistake of not making sure through the UFC if individual substances from the supplement could have effects on the drug tests.”

Finally, a fighter that recognizes that no one wants to hear that the failed test was the result of whatever reason they can come up with on that given day, but instead it’s a case of them openly stating, “I put something into my body that I didn’t truly look in to.”

Fighters are going to continue to make mistakes. They are always looking for that edge, and sometimes their efforts will backfire. But if does backfire, then they have to own it. Fighters need to know what they are putting into their bodies, including the components of supplements that they are using.

It doesn’t matter if a fighter is making $5,000 dollars a fight or $500,000 a fight, it is their job to take care of their bodies. It is their job to be vigilant in the decisions they make about what they put into their bodies. Shortcuts have consequences, and it is time fighters take that to heart. “My trainer told me to take this,” or “I took a new supplement and it made me fail the test,” is not what we want to be told.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.