Gracie: No drug problem in MMA

Drug use in MMA has been the topic of much discussion of late, with Jon Jones (cocaine metabolites), Nick Diaz, (marijuana), Anderson Silva, Hector Lombard and Jon Fitch (all steroids) having returned positive tests since the turn of the year.

Bellator President Scott Coker has rejected suggestions that there is a drug 'epidemic' in the sport, and Gracie is of the same opinion.

Gracie, who was a dominant force in the early years of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has remained involved in the sport since retiring and is currently working as a brand ambassador for Bellator.

Speaking at a recent event Gracie asserted that the positive tests could be interpreted as a good thing as it illustrates that fighters using drugs are getting caught.

"It shows that the system is working," he told MMAFighting.

"You're trying to look at the bad side, I'm looking at the good side. Instead of trying to encourage people, 'Oh, let's ban MMA because everybody is doing drugs, let's ban NASCAR because they're advertising drinking and driving.' Let's look at the good side. The system is working. 

"Let's not try to put down the fighters because one fighter made a mistake, decided to party and do whatever."

He added: "How many people got caught [recently]? Five? Five of how many we have in the sport all over the world? I don't think it's a problem…

"…The system works. That's why they're getting caught."

Gracie himself tested positive for steroids in 2007, but has always maintained that he did not take the banned substance nandrolone.