UFC Fighter Tyson Griffin Tests Positive for Weed Friday 09 March, 2012

By: Kaptain Kush

tyson griffin

The UFC’s bizarre policies towards marijuana use just took another trip to the Twilight Zone. Tyson Griffin tested positive for cannabis over a year and a half ago at UFC 123 in Michigan, but the results were not made public until now, thanks to a stellar investigative piece of journalism.

SBNation site Bloody Elbow has exposed this failed drug test in a very thorough manner and based on what I’ve read, it amounts to a pretty serious cover up. I’ve written about the UFC’s hypocritical drug testing policies and punishments before, focusing on the case of Nick Diaz.

This mind-bending report validates my belief that Dana White has many ulterior motives when it comes to drug testing in his sport. It’s also worth nothing that Griffin’s manager, when reached for comment, was extremely vague and unwilling to speak about the cover up in depth. Here’s the gist of it.

It almost becomes more strange when the test is for marijuana rather than some sort of performance enhancing drug when it comes the UFC not making it public knowledge. Then again, in 2006, Diego Sanchez tested positive for the presence of marijuana following his defeat of Joe Riggs and when the California State Athletic Commission didn’t make that news public, the UFC also didn’t acknowledge it until the story was picked up by the Orange County Register.


A call was placed to the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission to determine why this information was never made public as well as to find out exactly what Griffin tested positive for. Carol Moultine of the commission informed me that the state followed their procedures exactly in this case and that if I wanted to know what Tyson tested positive for, I would have to file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the file.

That’s exactly what I did and a week later I received the disciplinary action report for Griffin and found out that he had tested positive for Cannabinoids. A PDF copy of the relevant page of the disciplinary report can be read here.

For a promotion which has voluntarily made positive drug tests public knowledge (Chris Leben being caught by UFC testing in England for UFC 89), why is this the second positive test for marijuana (that we know of) to have been kept out of the public eye?

For Michigan, why did they not make this information public? The public pays for the government commission to operate and pays for tickets/pay-per-views for the events, anything the commission does should be made easily accessible for the public.

And for Stars MMA, why would you not take advantage of a chance to get out in front of the story with me and offer comment? Why add another layer of resistance and mystery to a story I made clear was going to come to light?

In the end we’re left with a lot of questionable behavior around a simple 100 day license suspension during a time when drug testing is at the forefront of the media with Diaz’s marijuana conviction and the continued presence of testosterone replacement therapy in the headlines.

White brags about how heavily regulated the UFC is, but what does that mean when the public isn’t always fully aware of what that regulation detects? [Bloody Elbow]

The UFC has not responded to emails from Brent Brookhouse, the author of this story.

I don’t know much about the UFC other than Jon “Bones Jones” and Anderson Silva are absolute beasts and you couldn’t pay me to enter the Octagon. But I do know this: something’s rotten in Dana White’s association.

While I’m obviously on the side that feels marijuana should not result to a suspension in any sport, it’s pretty revolting and confounding that the UFC has a double-standard like this one. It just makes absolutely no sense that Nick Diaz has been suspended (twice) for marijuana use, when one of his colleagues (I guess that’s the term?) completely sidestepped the law.

Clearly, Dana White and the UFC had something to gain from not making this information. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that something was.


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