The pool of fighters being flagged for USADA violations may be getting even larger than we thought.
UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky told MMAFighting.com this week that USADA will be testing about 700 fighters by the third quarter, as opposed the the 500 they tested previously.
They tested between 450-550 in the first quarter, and will be entering the second quarter soon. By the third quarter the program will be at its full capabilities.
"I'm amazed the progress that we've had getting this off the ground. This will be the first quarter — the third quarter of 2016 — where we have a fully implemented program," said Novitzky.
The most recent fighters to receive failed test results from USADA are Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar and Chad Mendes.
"I don't take any pleasure that the program is working, seeing that happen. Sometimes one or two of those needs to happen for everybody to open their eyes. If anybody had any reservations about the seriousness, about the independence of the program, that it doesn't matter if you're the first on the depth chart of the roster or the last you're going to be treated the same under this program," he said.
In addition to the fighters listed above, B.J. Penn is serving a six-month suspension after admitting to IV use, Yoel Romero and Tim Means were given six-month suspensions after proving they took tainted supplements and Mirko Cro Cop was banned two years after admitting to using growth hormone.
"But the reality is sometimes it takes a few of those hard lessons to happen for everybody to get the message that this is real and this isn't on paper or a theory. This is a real program where you're seeing the main event of UFC 200 be pulled because of a potential violation," he added.
Even though PED's are a serious issue in the sport, we couldn't help but have a little fun with USADA. Check out our video below.
(Image via MMAWeekly.com)