At least in theory, those users aren't doing anything wrong, and beyond that, if White was observant enough to notice a few incidents have led him to believe that TRT is not always being used as though it is intended, surely, he must hear the whispers of PED use throughout the sport.
To that, he said, the answer is that every company has its limitations. White reiterated his belief that it would simply be cost-prohibitive to conduct random tests on the entire roster of around 400 fighters.
"We’re regulated by state athletic commissions," he said. "For us to go out on our own and start drug testing every fighter under contract, it’s impossible. It’s impossible. We couldn’t do it."
In offering his perspective of the problem, White noted that on this very card he is promoting, there is a fighter, Nick Diaz , who has already failed two drug tests for marijuana in his career. On Thursday, Diaz, who has a medicinal use card in his home state California, couldn't guarantee he would pass a test. Because the UFC can't send someone to live with Diaz and control his behavior, White is forced to simply sit back and hope that Diaz will pass.
"I can’t stop this kid from smoking weed," he said. "What if he wins my title [Saturday] and tests positive for marijuana? I can’t stop it. Do you think I would not like to stop Nick Diaz from smoking weed leading up to a fight? I would love to do it."
As noted by some journalists who pressed White on the issue, performance-enhancing drugs continue to plague the image of the sport, but White responded with the statement that no plan would ever be enough to truly ensure integrity.
Even if he brought in a third-party drug testing company to randomly screen his fighters, he insinuated, it wouldn't necessarily prove anything. Citing the long and blatant history of cheating in cycling well before any riders got caught, he voiced a frustration about the demands being placed upon his organization.
"If the cycling guys were being tested so strenuously, by such an amazing f---ing testing system, then how the f--- was everyone in the sport doing it, and they never caught them for years?" he asked. "The athletic commission does the testing, and you guys think we should do this strenuous testing that the f---ing cycling guys blew by for years?"
So for now, the athletic commissions will continue to drug test fighters, and the UFC will force additional monitoring on TRT users. For now, phase one of the war on drugs in MMA starts with TRT, in a move that could force some name fighters to make important decisions about their futures.