January 4, 2017
Brock Lesnar was issued a one year suspension by USADA for failing an out of competition and in-competition drug test for UFC 200. Lesnar will be reinstated on July 15, 2017.
A portion of the USADA press release announcing the sanction reads:
Lesnar, 39, tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolite, 4-hydroxyclomiphene, following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on June 28, 2016, and an in-competition urine test conducted on July 9, 2016, at UFC 200 in Las Vegas, Nev. Clomiphene is a prohibited substance in the category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the WADA Prohibited List.
Last month, Lesnar entered into a settlement with the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the same drug test failure. He received a one-year sentence and $250,000 fine.
The drug has the ability to double testosterone levels. It is generally used as a fertility drug that causes the pituitary gland to release hormones. Notably, Lyoto Machida’s suspension of 18 months was for 7-keto-DHEA which helps burn fat.
The suspension was more or less expected after Lesnar settled with the NSAC. Of course, the disparity in suspensions we mention with Lyoto Machida have to be frustrating. The drug taken by Lesnar could aid him in fighting and I’m sure Mark Hunt its upset about this suspension. On the other hand, Machida’s banned substance helps burn fat so that you can make weight. The suspension reflect the issues with the UFC anti-doping policy overseen by USADA.
December 27, 2016
Josh Barnett has been flagged for a potential USADA violation for an out of competition test from December 9, 2016.
The UFC issued its standard statement with respect to potential anti-doping violations.
Barnett’s last fight was on September 3, 2016, a win against Andrei Arlovski. He was not scheduled for an upcoming fight.
Barnett has had a sordid past with drug test failures and this is the latest for the 39-year-old. We will see if Barnett has an excuse for the failure but with his history, it’s hard to think that this will end well.
December 24, 2016
It was a big year for Jon Jones. But it could have been worse.
Just weeks prior to his return to the Octagon at UFC 197, Jones was arrested for violating his probation (you may recall he accepted a plea deal for his part in a car accident with a pregnant woman). In March, he was stopped by Albuquerque Police for allegedly drag racing. The traffic stop was caught on camera. He turned himself in for the violation. Fortunately, for Jones, only modifications were made to his probation and he did not have to serve any jail time. Also, he was able to continue to train for UFC 197.
Jones returned to the Octagon in April at UFC 197 to face Ovince St. Preux after his rematch with Daniel Cormier was postponed due to a Cormier injury.
Jones and Cormier were rescheduled for UFC 200 in July as the main event. Bur, Jones was taken off the card days before the event as an out of competition drug test was flagged. As we now know, the banned substance he took was a bootleg sexual enhancement pill he received from a training partner. Jones became the first UFC athlete to take USADA to arbitration related to a flagged drug test. However, he lost at arbitration with the opinion stating that despite the fact that he may not have knowingly attempted to take a PED, he did show disregard for ingesting something for which he did not know the contents. As a result, he was given a one year ban retroactive to July 2016. Jones had hoped that he would be in the Octagon much sooner.
Jones settled the drug test infraction with the Nevada Athletic Commission by agreeing to a one year suspension as well which allows him to be on track to be back in the Octagon in July 2017.
This year’s legal issues lost him a lot of trust from the UFC. He has been given chance time and again with him saying all the right things after the problems have ended, but he always finds himself in another problem. The UFC was likely angered by having to rearrange marketing and finding a replacement so near UFC 200. Still, he is probably one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and the organization will welcome him back this July.
December 22, 2016
USADA has formally notified the UFC and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino of a potential Anti-Doping violation stemming from a December 5, 2016 sample collection.
The UFC has provided its standard statement with regard to flagged tests. A portion reads:
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed.
Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Cyborg indicated that she’s on medical treatment. “Everybody knows I’m sick, that I’m recovering from the weight cut I had to do for the fight. What is happening is post-weight cut. Everybody knows I’m sick. They are talking to my doctor to solve this the best way.” (via MMA Fighting) On behalf of Cyborg, Ray Elbe posted on The Underground that she has not tested positive for a steroid. Based on the post, it appears she is working with USADA in turning over all the necessary information from her doctor.
Cyborg has now posted a statement on her web site stating that the banned substance known as “Spironolactone.” It is a potassium-sparing diuretic that prevents the body from absorbing too much salt and keeps potassium levels from getting too low.
Whatever the outcome for Cyborg, this is bad public relations for the fighter and the UFC. For Cyborg, she had been on the positive of the media as she was just made a U.S. citizen and ESPN covered her battle with weight cutting. Yet, this news brings up all of the bad rumors of Cyborg in the past. While many felt that she was bypassed for the inaugural women’s featherweight division in the UFC, it’s clear there was reason which she explains in her web site post. If Cyborg does receive a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption for the prohibited substance, there will be criticism for this as well. If Cyborg does not receive a TUE, it’s likely she will have a suspension coming. MMA Payout will keep you posted.
December 21, 2016
Carlos Diego Ferreira has accepted a 17-month suspension from USADA from a failed drug test this past spring. The 31-year-old Brazilian fighter declared the use of a product that listed and contained a prohibited substance and tested for another prohibited substance.
Ferreira tested positive for Ostarine as a result of an out of competition test on April 29, 2016. He also listed 7-keto-DHEA on his sample paperwork. Both are prohibited substances in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.
The release from USADA indicates that Ferreira tested several of the supplement products he was reportedly using at the time of his positive test. Ostarine was not listed on the product label but testing conducted on the product that listed 7-keto-DHEA also contained Ostarine.
Despite the standard two-year period of ineligibility, USADA determined that a reduction to 17-months was justified.
This suspension might be compared with that of Lyoto Machida who took an 18-month USADA suspension. Machida declared the use of 7-keto-DEHA on his sample collection paperwork but his suspension was reduced to 18 months. In Ferreira’s case, he declared the use of one prohibited substance but not another. This makes Machida’s penalty seem uneven. It’s not known if Ferreira attempted to take his case to arbitration. Machida did make an attempt to appeal the decision at first but then decided to accept the decrease of the suspension. Did Machida’s suspension considered when USADA decided to suspend Ferreira for 17-months?
December 15, 2016
Brock Lesnar has agreed to a settlement with the Nevada State Athletic Commission stemming from his failed drug tests post-UFC 200 per Brett Okamoto. The settlement was confirmed at Thursday’s monthly commission meeting.
Lesnar will pay $250,000 and serve a 1 year suspension retroactive to July 2016.
The $250,000 is 10% of Lesnar’s reported payout of $2.5 million from UFC 200. The settlement closes any inquiry as to the drug test failures and the alleged substances found in the tests although he still will have to deal with USADA. But, one would think Lesnar will settle as well. Whether or not we’ll see Lesnar back in the UFC will be an interesting question.
December 8, 2016
MMA Fighting reports that Jon Jones has reached a settlement with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and will serve a one year suspension. Jones will be able to return this summer to the UFC octagon.
Jones avoids a hearing before the NAC which could have added on to a USADA suspension handed down to him in October. A three-person arbitration panel handed down a one year suspension for Jones as he was the first UFC fighter to take USADA to arbitration. The panel determined that Jones acted recklessly when he took a Cialis-like sexual enhancement pill without knowledge of its contents. Jones had hoped that the arbitration panel would have been more lenient in its sentencing as a one year suspension was the original requested penalty for Jones.
Jones was to have appeared before the NAC next week at the commission’s monthly hearing. Jones or his representatives will be there, but to confirm the agreed upon settlement, rather than deal with a punishment.
The one year suspension appears to be retroactive to the date of the discovery of his USADA drug test results, July 6, 2016.
The settlement ensures that Jones will have a possibility to return to the UFC at about the same time that the UFC will run its annual International Fight Week. This should/could mean the long awaited fight between Jones-Cormier could occur then assuming Jones stays out of trouble and Cormier remains injury-free. With today’s news, Jones avoids the possibility of an additional suspension and/or prolonged legal battle.
November 23, 2016
USADA has provided MMA Fighting a response to Lyoto Machida’s comments about his 18 month suspension for using a banned substance.
Upon receiving news of his 18-month suspension, Machida left a message for his fans on his Facebok page.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, USADA spokesperson Ryan Madden asserted the organization’s message to UFC athlete’s and defended the comments made by Machida which included the rationale for USADA’s 18-month suspension which Machida believed to be harsh despite his acknowledgement of taking a banned substance.
From the information, it appeared as though Machida had appealed USADA’s initial decision. Madden noted that Machida was set to arbitrate his matter in June but decided to settle on the eve of his arbitration. He also points out that Machida never disputed the violation.
Clearly, this is media relations for both Machida and USADA. Machida is disappointed with the 18-month suspension and thought he would have received less of a penalty since he was up front with his taking of the prohibited substance and his cooperation in the matter. The reduced sentences for the likes of Tim Means and Yoel Romero come to mind. Both received 6-month suspensions. Those cases hold different facts but the key driver for Machida was that he was straightforward about his use. But, therein lies the problem which USADA focused on and determined to be a factor in assessing the 18-month suspension. USADA maintains that it provides educational information on taking substances. Machida claims he was not properly educated. It’s a disconnect between fighter and organization. Whether a fighter knows about each substance on everything he takes from a GNC or health store will be scrutinized more after this ruling.
November 16, 2016
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida has accepted an 18-month sanction for an anti-doping policy violation after declaring the use of a prohibited substance and subsequently testing positive of the substance. The suspension is retroactive to April 2016.
Machida, 38, was pulled from a matchup with Dan Henderson at UFC on Fox 19 this past April due to the infraction.
7-keto-DHEA was the prohibited substance taken by Machida. The former champion noted he had taken the substance on his sample collection paperwork. The substance is in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. The drug is marketed as a dietary supplement with the implication that it may accelerate weight loss, increase metabolism and prevent age-related changes. A WADA-accredited lab reported to USADA that Machida’s sample demonstrated an elevated level of the prohibited substance.
Due to his immediate admission of the use, USADA saw it as a mitigating circumstance in reducing the standard 2 year suspension to 18 months.
At 38, Machida’s suspension likely means his career with the UFC is over. He was coming off of two straight losses with his last fight in June 2015, a KO loss to Yoel Romero.
November 14, 2016
Zubaira Tukhugov has been notified of a potential USADA violation as a result from out-of-competition sample collection made on September 7, 2016 and October 29, 2016. As a result, the UFC has removed him from his fight against Tiago Trator on December 9th.
UFC officials are seeking to find a replacement for Trator. Tukhugov was 3-1 in the UFC coming off of a loss to Renato Moicano at UFC 198 this past May.
The UFC issued its standard statement for these type of flagged tests which provisionally suspends fighters.
Notably, Tukhugov was flagged for 2 tests that were about 6 weeks apart. The 25 year old Featherweight is subject to a two-year suspension although this may be mitigated dependent on the banned substance he may have taken.