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Dana White on drug testing changes: 'We're testing the whole card now'

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Esther Lin

LOS ANGELES -- Zuffa chairman Lorenzo Fertitta dropped an interesting bit of news Tuesday, when he told Sports Illustrated that his company will step up efforts to administer out-of-competition drug testing on their fighters, such as the ones recently undertaken by Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira.

Wednesday, Fertitta's chief lieutenant added another piece to the puzzle. UFC president Dana White the company plans on testing entire fight cards at future events.

"As far as testing, what we used to do is we used to roll into town and the title fight always got tested, and there was random testing," White said. "We're testing the whole card now. The whole card is getting tested. Everyone is getting tested."

The new policy is clearly a work in progress, as White could not give specifics on how and when the new policy will be implemented, much as Feritta demurred with SI on the subject of random testing. But White says that taking drug testing to the next level is the only way to ensure the sport's future growth.

"Obviously, doing away with performance-enhancing drugs not only helps us run our business, but it also helps the fighters," White said. "If you can make sure you take a hard enough stance and you can keep these young, talented kids off these drugs, their careers are going to last longer. Once all the kids realize there is a level playing field, you have these guys paranoid, ‘I know this guy is using, I know he is, I have to fight this guy and he's on it, so maybe I should do it too' once we can eliminate all that it's going to make the sport a lot better for everybody, them and us."

Meanwhile, White reiterated that he's pleased with this year's commission developments regarding exemptions testosterone replacement therapy. Nevada banned therapeutic use exemptions earlier in the year and California has in effect followed suit.

"I'm so f--- glad it's gone," White said. "Because we're still dealing with, you gotta get Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen licensed in Nevada. And Vitor [Belfort]. All need to get licensed in Nevada. Now the question becomes, because they were on it, their [testosterone to epitestosterone] ratios are still going up, even though their levels are down, and I'm like, ‘are you f--- kidding me?' They're done, it's over, and we still can't figure it out? I'm so happy TRT is gone. It's confusing, nobody understands it. Not even the doctors, the doctors don't understand it. If you talk to three, they have three different answers on it. I'm glad it's gone."