ROUNDTABLE: Is it fair for USADA to ban a fighter for life?

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Ruslan Magomedov (blue gloves) prior to his heavyweight bout against Shawn Jordan (not pictured) at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Is it fair for USADA to ban a fighter for life?

David McGrath, Host – MMATorch Today Podcast

Absolutely if the fighter is a habitual offender. MMA is real life, it’s not pro wrestling. Lives are on the line. I agree with the decision to suspend Ruslan Magomedov for life.

Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

If the person has failed multiple tests and caused lots of problems, absolutely. It can’t come out of nowhere, though, it has to be known that x number of tests equal permanent banishment. It’s absolutely fair to ban someone for life for cheating. I know accidents happen and sometimes you get a tainted supplement or something like that, but that’s why you set the bar for a lifetime ban high. We can argue about whether certain things shouldn’t be classified as PEDs or should be allowed and all that stuff, but that’s a different topic. When the rules state that A, B, and C aren’t allowed, you can’t argue that C shouldn’t be considered a PED as justification for you using it. You know the rules, you have to follow them whether you think they’re unjust or not. A lifetime ban might be harsh but it’s fair.

Patrick Shaheen, Host – MMA Scope Podcast

FAKE NEWS, THE GOLDEN SNITCH IS ALL KNOWING AND POWERFUL!! In all seriousness, I’m not a fan of USADA and I don’t think it is fair or just for them to ban fighters. Steroids are bad, don’t cheat. But if you start banning fighters for life you’ve now set the bar very high, and it cannot come down.


Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor

If there is a pattern of flagrant disregard of the rules, such as they are, a lifetime ban is a just decision in some rare cases. Looking at what we know about Ruslan Magomedov’s case, the decision seems to be fair and frankly, more of a formality than anything else. The litany of what he had in his system for his second failure last year goes beyond the usual tainted supplement defence. This is stuff he was taking while suspended for two years. He then refused to provide a sample for a test in February, and that pretty much sealed his fate. UFC was unlikely to have him back anyway. I’m sure he would have been released as soon as his suspension was up. If they won’t keep Tom Lawlor or Frank Mir after suspensions, why would they keep Ruslan Magomedov? All in all, lifetime bans should be rare, but in this case, it’s perfectly fine.

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