Rosi Sexton Adds Common Sense to Steroid Debate in Women’s MMA

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Mixed martial artist Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton added some much-needed common sense to the debate over anabolic steroids in the sport of MMA. The eight-ranked pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world responded to the news of Christiane “Cyborg” Santos’ positive steroid test.

Chris “Cyborg” Santos tested positive for anabolic steroids when she defeated challenger Hiroko Yamanaka to keep the Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight title. A WADA-accredited laboratory found metabolites of stanozolol, otherwise known as Winstrol, during a urinalysis.

Sexton, the only MMA fighter with a PhD in Theoretical Computer Science, offered her initial reaction via Twitter to her fans. She wasn’t particularly surprised that Santos tested positive.

“Look “just working hard in the gym” won’t give a woman muscles like that any more than eating worms and flapping your arms will make you fly,” Sexton tweeted on the likelihood that Santos may have used steroids.

Look "just working hard in the gym" won't give a woman muscles like that any more than eating worms and flapping your arms will make you fly
January 7, 2012 4:22 am via Twitter for iPhoneReplyRetweetFavorite
Rosi Sexton

Sexton was clearly disillusioned with the hypocrisy in the sport and the lack of effective steroid testing. She expanded on her thoughts about Santos in a guest editorial on Bloody Elbow. She expressed relief that people can stop pretending that steroids aren’t an issue in MMA.

Sexton even suggested that legalizing steroids with an honest discussion of the medical issues surrounding steroid use would be preferable to the current hypocrisy in the sport.

“If this is the route we want to go down then we should change the rules and allow athletes to use these drugs freely, without the stigma of “cheating” attached,” wrote Sexton. “Of course there are risks and side effects – but we could at least have an honest, grown up discussion about the medical issues, without the hypocrisy that surrounds the subject at the moment.”

Sexton has long been outspoken about the topic of steroids in MMA. And she hasn’t been afraid to criticize the ineffective steroid testing policies of the sport. She wrote about steroids on her blog last year.

“This isn’t a sport where you’re worried about someone scoring more goals than you, it’s a sport where someone’s going to try and pin you down and elbow you in the head,” Sexton wrote on her blog last year. ” That’s a pretty strong incentive not to stick strictly to the rules, especially when you suspect your opponent may not be squeaky clean either.”

She believes the sport of MMA is faced with a choice. Either they adopt gold standard anti-doping policies outlined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) or they permit unrestricted use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs and establish a truly level playing field for competitors.

“So what’s the answer? From a fighter’s point of view – either do a proper job of enforcing it and have full independent, random, out-of-competition testing OR, if that’s too much expense and trouble to go to, then just make the damn drugs legal and let people take whatever they want, so that at least it’s an even playing field.”

MMA Rosie Sexton

Photo credit: UK Sun via WomenTalkSports.com


Sexton, R. (January 7, 2012). Rosi Sexton On Cyborg: ‘Now We Can All Stop Pretending’. Retrieved from http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2012/1/7/2690317/rosi-sexton-on-cyborg-now-we-can-all-stop-pretending

Sexton, R. (September 28, 2010). Can we have a grown up debate about performance enhancing drugs, please? Retrieved from http://rosisexton.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/can-we-have-a-grown-up-debate-about-performance-enhancing-drugs-please/