Scott Coker Talks Internal Drug Tests: It Was Just the Right Thing to Do

ST. LOUIS -- As the fighters on Saturday night's Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery card filed out of the Scottrade Center and back to their hotel after Friday afternoon's weigh-ins, their work for the day wasn't quite finished.

According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, once back at the hotel all fighters were required to submit to drug tests administered internally by the Strikeforce organization via a local independent laboratory.

"It wasn't based on any one specific fighter," Coker told MMA Fighting. "It was just the right thing to do. It's so all the fighters, all the fans, and all the media know what's going on. I talked to all the fighters about it and they were all fine with it."

Coker said the decision to conduct the independent tests has been in the works for at least a week, and was spurred on in part by the Missouri Office of Athletics' policy of conducting only random testing.

"I know that the commission here is doing random testing, but we didn't want to leave it up to that," said Coker. "People were asking, 'Why aren't you testing Alistair Overeem?' Hey, I didn't know. It's not up to me. So we just said, let's test everybody, make sure the playing field is even."

Coker said the organization most likely wouldn't continue its own testing for events in California where commission standards ensure there's "no need for it," but he wouldn't rule out future internal tests when Strikeforce visits other states that use less stringent testing procedures.

Test results should be available in about two weeks, according to Coker, who added that disciplinary action for fighters who test positive for banned substances "would be very similar to what you would see in California and Nevada."

"It's just to make it clear to everyone that all the fighters are going to be tested, and I believe they'll test clean," Coker said.

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