GSP's Coach Clarifies Issues on VADA and WADA Testing for Upcoming Title Fight
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 09.12.2013
He says there was a misunderstanding...
Speaking to ESPN, Firas Zahabi, coach and trainer for UFC champion Georges St-Pierre, clarified some of the recent controversy about drug testing for the upcoming Johny Hendricks vs. GSP title bout. Below are some highlights:
Zahabi said, "I just wanted to guarantee that the most highly effective drug is taken off the table. We were asking for the highest degree of testing. We were just trying to be as honest and get the right answers. I think there was a misunderstanding and different opinions."
Zahabi previously wrote on Twitter, "VADA & NSAC are both good but also have their pros and cons. Let's do both test and make everyone happy. This is the plan."
Hendricks now reportedly plans to proceed only with commission-mandated testing, which sometimes includes out-of-competition testing. Hendricks' manager Ted Ehrhardt reportedly said no to Hendricks undergoing testing with the VADA organization when Zahabi is said to have claimed that the third-party testing firm was footing the bill for the program. It was first quoted at $20,000 but later lowered to $16,000 due to a shortened testing timeframe.
The process then apparently broke down after a series of e-mails were released that show St-Pierre's co-manager, Rodolphe Beaulieu, asking about WADA-accredited lab's testing procedures and what drugs were being tested for. This was in regards to an alternate, enhanced supplemental testing program that would be handled by the Nevada State Athletic Commission through a WADA-accredited lab. NSAC head, Keith Kizer, was said to be concerned about the inquiries. Kizer then later withdrew the offer and said that GSP is still subject to the commission's existing program.
Beauliue said his questions were meant to clarify what GSP was agreeing to the NSAC program and what his rights were during the process, and he described it as "an act of faith."
VADA President Margaret Goodman claims that GSP is enrolled in their program and has paid $16,000 to test both himself and Hendricks, $8,000 of which will be refunded if Hendricks decides not to follow the program. Goodman says that VADA is not sponsoring GSP and the agency never agreed to pay for GSP's testing.
According to VADA President Margaret Goodman, St-Pierre is enrolled in the program and has paid $16,000 to test both himself and Hendricks, $8,000 of which will be refunded with the title challenger's decision not to follow. As to Zahabi's claim of VADA sponsorship, she ventured it was "a miscommunication" and said the agency never agreed to pay for St-Pierre's testing.