HOUSTON -- The UFC has responded to an explosive accusation hurled by Deadspin in a Sept. 21 article.
The piece, headlined "A sketchy drug test didn't stop Vitor Belfort from fighting at UFC 152," strongly intimated Belfort was doping and the UFC knew it, but allowed him to fight then-champion Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship on Sept. 22, 2012 in Toronto anyway.
Speaking for the UFC, company PR head Dave Sholler denied the insinuation.
"I think one of the things to keep in mind with this particular topic is, any suggestion or inference that there was a coverup in regards to that was categorically false," Sholler said at the UFC 192 post-fight press conference at Toyota Center.
Belfort was one of the most infamous beneficiaries of the controversial testosterone replacement therapy practice, which is now banned. Sholler conceded that the TRT area created murky waters for all involved in the sport of mixed martial arts.
"That period of time with TRT is one that was tricky for everyone: For the UFC, for athletic commissions, and for athletes alike," Sholler said. "I think when everyone came to a conclusion it didn't have a place in the sport and was outlawed in 2014, we were quick to make sure that we too followed suit, as Nevada has said."
Sholler went on to say that the company's new testing regime is proof the company is serious about eliminating performance-enhancing drugs.
"As we look at it today, we have signed on with one of the greatest and most stringent anti-doping policies in the world in USADA," Sholler said. "So our position on doping is the same. There's no place for it in the sport and we're going to work with Jeff Novitzky and the USADA folk to continue to make sure that performance enhancing drugs have no place in the UFC."