Change is really scary for a lot of people, but when there is a possible change in the professional sports world, sports junkies go completely insane.
However, there are some changes that need to be made, but seem to be constantly overlooked by major sports organizations, such as constant drug violations.
Finally, a professional sports organization has stopped ignoring the drug violations and has chosen to deal with one of the most prominent problems in sports.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has set their strict drug policy in motion after the most recent drug testing failures by light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, as well as middleweights Nick Diaz and Anderson Silva.
On Feb. 18, UFC president Dana White announced an increase in testing until the organizations new plan takes affect on July 1.
The changes include in and out of competition testing for all fighters via urine and blood samples, as well as suspensions that could possibly be two to four years long. Along with longer suspensions and more testing, the UFC will commit several million dollars to fund the policy, as opposed to the around $500,000 that they have committed now.
Meanwhile, organizations like the National Football League and Major League Baseball continue to have countless players committing drug violations because of lenient policies.
The MLB only uses one sample per player and have soft punishments, when it comes to cheating the game, such as 50-game and 100-game suspensions. The NFL policy is so moderate that it begins punishment with a four-game suspension.
Sure larger suspensions have been handed out, such as the Yankee’s Alex Rodriguez, who was suspended for 162 games, as well as the Brown’s Josh Gordon who was suspended for a year, but these cases did nothing to create drastic changes in policies.
I applaud the UFC for realizing that they need to crack down on drug violations and I hope that other organizations, like the NFL and MLB, will follow the UFC’s lead and protect their respective sports and its athletes.
As a sports fan, this is one change that won’t make me want to pull my hair out, but will instead make me proud that the sports I love want to protect the integrity of their game.