Pancrase to introduce drug testing for championship fights

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Champions and challengers to undergo testing from Pancrase 307. Photo: Akihito Tatematsu.

Pancrase has announced a major initiative that will see drug tests carried out for all of its championship bouts.

The first tests begin at Pancrase 307 on 21 July where the bantamweight, flyweight and strawweight titles are on the line.

Under the new rules competitors participating in a title match, including the title challenger, will be tested by the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory.

SMRTL is a Utah-based organisation that tests for a broad range of banned substances from anabolic steroids to stimulants, diuretics and masking agents used to increase urine production and help athletes make weight.

Should an athlete fail a test for banned substances, Pancrase said disciplinary action will range from suspension to financial penalties.

It is understood this is the first time the long-running Japanese promotion has implanted a rigorous drug testing program.

The main event of Pancrase 307 sees Rafael Silva defend his bantamweight title for the first time against rising star Yuto Hokamura.

Shohei Masumizu is set to meet Masatatsu Ueda for the the vacant flyweight title, while Mitsuhisa Sunabe defends his strawweight belt against Daichi Kitakata.

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