The Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Justice are investigating the longtime head of the Oregon State Athletic Commission.
The OSP issued a press release this past week that states Brad Darcy, who's served as the executive director of the OSAC since 2004, on June 6 was placed on paid leave as the enforcement agencies look into "conduct associated with the director's duties."
Oversight for combat sports events in the state, including next month's "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" event, now is handled by the OSP, which supersedes the OSAC. The commission's five-member volunteer board remains in place.
"Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" takes place July 14 at Rose Garden in Portland, and airs live on Showtime and Showtime Extreme. The main event features a middleweight title fight between current champ Luke Rockhold and challenger Tim Kennedy.
Nearly all established North American athletic commissions require drug testing for title fights. Speaking today to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), John Yost of the OSP referred questions about event administration and testing to Gaming Enforcement Division Lt. Craig Heuberger, who now is in charge of the OSAC's business-related matters. Yost declined to answer questions about the investigation. Heuberger was unavailable for comment.
"The athletic commission falls under Oregon State Police," Yost said. "So that means I answer the phone. I'm doing most of it along with an operations director. But it's all being taken care of. It will be a good event."
Marc Ratner, the UFC's vice president of regulatory affairs who also oversees commission matters for Strikeforce, wrote via email: "Everything is in place with the acting director including drug testing."
Current UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen, an Oregon native and resident who advised the OSAC when it amended its statutes to include MMA, expressed his support for Darcy.
"MMA in Oregon owes a debt to Darcy and his service," Sonnen wrote in an email. "As the leader in MMA promotion in the state of Oregon, I expect the findings of the investigation to be positive."
In 2007 the OSAC amended its statutes to include the regulation of MMA. The commission has overseen long-running promotions such as SportFight in addition to major events such as the UFC and Strikeforce. The commission was formed in 1987 as the Oregon Boxing and Wrestling Commission before changing its name.