UFC champion Ronda Rousey has labelled the five-year ban handed down to Nick Diaz as “cruel” but says she welcomes drug tests in sport.
UFC middleweight Diaz was banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after he tested positive for marijuana for the third time.
“Say you got a parking ticket and you didn’t pay for it and you got another one and didn’t pay for it,” said Rousey. “No matter how many tickets you got you never deserve life in prison. They are pretty much trying to keep him from fighting ever again. I think that punishment is cruel.
“I don’t think they should be testing for weed at all. It has nothing to do with sports. They keep saying it is for the safety of the fighter, so why aren’t they testing us to make sure we are not drunk?”
While the Rousey feels Diaz’s punishment far outweighed the crime, she has no problems with the drug testing policy personally. In fact, she welcomes it.
“Any time they get here I am like ‘What’s up, make yourself at home, do you want to stay and watch training?’ ” Rousey told USA Today Sports. “They are here for us, they are not here to come and get us.”
Rousey, who is undefeated at 12-0, has been drug tested seven times since April, something she feels comes with the territory of being champion.
“I encourage it all the time. I am so successful that people are going to cry ‘drugs’ on me. I get in better shape and my body is better than ever. I want those opportunities to (show) I’m clean all the time.”
The UFC hired former federal agent and famed performance-enhancing drugs investigator Jeff Novitzky in April. In a recent interview with USA Today Sports, the former fed recalled how Rousey thanked him and his team for testing her after August’s knockout victory over Bethe Correia in Brazil.
Rousey is more than experienced with the process of drug testing in sport. She recalled stringent tests for the Olympics where she won a bronze medal. As a 14-year-old rising judo star, Rousey says she was asked to drop her underwear, lift her shirt and urinate in the presence of a testing official during a competition.
Early in her MMA career however, things were very differnet. Three years ago in San Diego, when she fought Sarah Kauffman, she said she was given a plastic container and told to “go into a room and come back with something.”
Rousey said she welcomes the new stringent rules and knows they are good for the sport
“I know that I am capable of beating anybody regardless of what they are taking,” Rousey said. “But I have to think about the sport as a whole and not just myself and my ego. I want to make sure that if my children decided they wanted to do this it has to be in as safe and regulated an environment as possible.”
Rousey will defend her title against undefeated Holly Holm in UFC 193 in the Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on November 14.
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