UFC middleweight given 3 month sanction by USADA

July 18, 2019

USADA announced that Alen Amedovski has accepted a six-month sanction for the use of marijuana above the accepted range.  The native of Italy had his sanction reduced to just three months after completion of a USADA approved drug awareness and management program.

The UFC’s anti-doping partner on Thursday announced a three-month suspension for Amedovski.  An in-competition urine sample came in over the 150 ng/mL limit for Carboxy-THC for his octagon debut at UFC on ESPN+ 7. The event took place April 20 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  His period of ineligibility ends Saturday.

Amedovski lost a decision to fellow middleweight Krzysztof Jotko in his debut with the UFC.  He was previously undefeated after coming off of two victories in Bellator.

Payout Perspective:

Amedovski’s infraction was exceeding the threshold for marijuana use at the time of the fight.  With the softening of regulations around the nation, it would be interesting to see if the UFC decides to lighten the restrictions for its use.  This might not be within WADA regulations, but would be something that could be done.  Obviously, the drug awareness program helped mitigate the already cut-down sanction against the 31 year old middleweight.

USADA issues 2 year ban for UFC light heavyweight

July 9, 2019

Former UFC light heavyweight Ivan Shtyrkov has accepted a two-year suspension from USADA for violation of the UFC anti-doping rules.  The Russian stated on social media that he tested positive for a banned substance and this was confirmed by USADA on Tuesday.

Despite accepting the suspension, Shtyrkov has signed with Rizin FF.

Shtyrkov accepted a fight against Devin Clark at UFC on ESPN +7 this past March but that fight was scrapped after USADA notified the UFC that two out-of-competition urine samples had returned an “atypical” result.  The samples contained the banned steroid boldenone and its metabolite 5β-androst-1-en-17β-ol-3-one.  Boldenone is a veterinarian drug used on horses but has been used by professional athletes.  Notably, Stephan Bonnar and Josh Barnett had tested positive for the banned substance.

Boldenone is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Shtyrkov is undefeated with 16 wins and one draw.  It was initially announced that he was “sick” and hospitalized as a reason from pulling out of his fight with Devin Clark.   Shtyrkov’s manager indicated that a USADA test came back with an abnormal reading and not a positive test for PEDs.

Payout Perspective: 

 Here’s a case where you can argue that the USADA tests were not conclusive for the banned substance.  Yet, evidence was clear enough to pull him from his UFC debut and we are brought back to the argument about how long a substance can remain in one’s system.  We’ve seen this with Jon Jones and this may have been another case.  Despite the ban, Shtyrkov has decided to continue his career with Rizin.

Sean O’Malley USADA tests come back positive from residual Ostarine levels

June 22, 2019

Sean O’Malley is out of his July 6 fight with Marlon Vera according to the bantamweight in an Instagram post.  Coming off of a six month suspension, O’Malley could be facing another USADA suspension as he stated that a recent test found Ostarine in his system.

O’Malley was coming off of a suspension for a finding of Ostarine in a contaminated supplement.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Punished twice for doing nothing wrong. I have never taken anything illegal. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I will continue to train and get better everyday. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength” -Marcus Aurelius

A post shared by Sugar Sean O’Malley (@sugaseanmma) on

He stated in his Instagram post that two recent tests have found Ostarine.  He claims that USADA believes that his tests are related to residual from last level and “the low level is not providing me with no performance advantage,” per O’Malley’s social media post.

A similar situation occurred with Jon Jones and Turinabol when USADA determined that the trace amounts would not give him an advantage.

Payout Perspective:

O’Malley seems upset with this outcome but one has to wonder if USADA and the UFC are now changing its standard when it comes to drug testing.  As it did with Jon Jones, it is now focusing on whether or not the banned substance in the system would give the athlete a “performance advantage” versus a zero-tolerance standard which would hold the athlete responsible for what they ingested.  Obviously, the issue of contaminated substances may be factored in to consideration which may be O’Malley’s argument.  Yet, it’s still seems like a shift on how USADA addresses drug test failures.

Magny reveals reason for withdrawal from Luque fight

May 14, 2019

UFC middleweight Neil Magny revealed that the reason that he had to pull out of his scheduled bout this Saturday was due to notification from USADA that he was being flagged for a potential violation.

Magny announced via social media that he received an email from USADA that an “out of competition” test on May 5th revealed the banned substance of Di-Hydroxy-LGD-4033.  It is an investigational Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) for treatment of conditions such as muscle wasting and osteoporosis.  Notably, University of Florida quarterback (at the time) Will Grier was suspended for testing positive for the substance.  NBA player (also UF alum) Joakim Noah was banned twenty games for testing positive for the use.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

As many of you know, I had to withdraw from my sceduled bout against Vicente Luque on Saturday, May 18th. I want to apologize to him, as I know how difficult it is to lose an opponent days out from a fight. Throughout my MMA career I have been very transparent. I am not afraid to admit when I am in the wrong. On Saturday, May 11, 2019, I recieved an email from USADA stating that I have failed an “out of competition drug test” due to the banned substance “Di-Hydroxy-LGD-4033”. I am fully cooperating with USADA to determine how this substance was found in the sample I provided them on May 5, 2019. I have always been an advocate for the strict drug testing in the UFC, even to the extent of opting for my collected samples to be used for research purposes by USADA. I know without a doubt that I have done everything according to the standards set by USADA. I have faith in USADA that this situation will resolved in a timely manner and that I will be cleared of any wrong doing. To all of my fans and supporters, thank you. I assure you that I have not let you down.

A post shared by Neil Magny (@neil_magny170) on

In the example of Noah, an article reporting on the finding claimed he had unintentional made a mistake and that certain dietary supplements may contain the banned substance.

Payout Perspective:

Due to the rule which precludes the announcement of flagged tests, it was not known why Magny pulled out of his co-main event fight against Vinente Luque.  Like other fighters in this position, Magny decided to make the announcement himself rather than let speculation continue over his status.  He is working with USADA so one would hope that if the finding is through a tainted supplement, he is given the benefit of the doubt like others before him.  Magny’s public reveal of this issue shows his transparency which makes him much more credible with USADA and the fans.

Harris threatens lawsuit against supplement maker/distributor after serving USADA suspension

May 2, 2019

UFC Heavyweight Walt Harris states that he will take legal action against the maker and distributor of a supplement that caused him to be suspended per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

A win over Andrei Arlovski was overturned due to the failed USADA test.  It was discovered that a supplement he ingested was tainted with the anabolic agent LGD-4033.

Harris, speaking to reporters this week ahead of his upcoming fight against Sergey Spivak, he indicated that he was upset about his reputation being damaged.  Issues of jurisdiction remain a question prior to filing of Harris’ lawsuit according to his representatives.

In recent memory, Lyman Good and Tim Means have filed lawsuits against supplement makers and distributors based on their USADA suspensions.  Both cases are still pending New York and New Mexico respectively.

USADA had reduced its mandatory two-year sentence for a first offense to four months due to mitigating circumstances as Harris worked with USADA and was able to pinpoint the supplement which caused the issue. It was Harris’ first offense.

Payout Perspective:

While Harris may have viable claims, the question will be whether he will want to endure the time and cost it will take for him to go through a lawsuit.  Also, is he willing to disclose information about his earnings to recover damages and restore his name?  Harris received just a 4-month suspension and had his win reversed to a no-contest. Damages may be minimal as opposed to the legal costs involved.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

UFC Heavyweight punished four months for banned dietary supplement

April 22, 2019

UFC Heavyweight Walt Harris has accepted a four-month sanction for utilizing a banned substance.  Due to his cooperation with USADA, Harris’ suspension was reduced to just four months and he will be able to return to the Octagon on April 30th.

Via USADA:

Harris, 35, tested positive for LGD-4033 as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided on December 29, 2018 that was collected by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) at UFC 232 in Inglewood, Calif. LGD-4033 is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (UFC ADP), which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Following notification of his positive test, Harris provided USADA with information about a dietary supplement product he was using before and at the time of the relevant sample collection. Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement label, analysis conducted on both the open and independently sourced, unopened containers of the product by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, indicated that the product contained LGD-4033.

Although not stated in the report, there is an over the counter supplement known as Ligandrol which claims to build muscle mass.

Payout Perspective:

It appears that this is another case of where the athlete just didn’t know that a banned substance was in the supplement because it was not on the label of ingredients.  Fortunately for Harris, he has served his short suspension without losing out on any fights as it was unlikely he’d have come back this soon after his December fight.

UFC lightweight returns from six-month USADA suspension from contaminated supplement

April 11, 2019

UFC lightweight Mairbek Taisumov has accepted a six-month suspension from USADA for testing positive for a prohibited substance.  Taisumov indicated that the failed test was likely due to a contaminated dietary supplement.

Stanozolol metabolites were found in an in-competition urine sample he provided at UFC Fight Night in Moscow, Russia this past September.

Via USADA release:

Following notification of his positive test, Taisumov provided USADA with information about dietary supplement products he was using before and at the time of the relevant sample collection. USADA obtained open packages of the dietary supplements and collaborated with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to source unopened packages from Russia. Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement labels, product analysis conducted on both the open and independently sourced, unopened packages of the products by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, indicated that they all contained stanozolol.

The 30-year-old’s period of ineligibility began on October 8, 2018 when he was put on his provisional suspension.

Payout Perspective:

 Taisumov did not miss too much time as he is able to return to the Octagon this month.  The contaminated product was verified by the WADA-accredited lab reflecting that the supplement did not indicate on the label that it had a banned substance, yet it did.  An issue that punishes the fighter despite reading product labels.

Lifetime ban issued to UFC heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov

April 1, 2019

USADA announced its first lifetime ban as a result of violations of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy as UFC heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov was issued the sanction for his second and third violations.

 

The 32-year old was 3-0 in the UFC but his last fight was in October 2015 as he posted a unanimous decision win over Shawn Jordan.

 

Previously, Magomedov received a two-year sanction from USADA for the presence of ostarine in a September 2016 test.  He had claimed that he was using a contaminated supplement but USADA could not confirm this allegation.  The case (along with that of Zubaira Tukhgov) were consolidated and went to arbitration where USADA prevailed.

Via USADA press release:

Magomedov, 32, received a second violation after he tested positive for methyltestosterone metabolite 17α-methyl-5β-androstan-3α, 17β-diol, as well as stanozolol metabolites 3’-hydroxystanozolol-O-glucuronide, 16β-hydroxystanozolol-O-glucuronide, and stanozolol-N-glucuronide, as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample he provided on October 10, 2018. Methyltestosterone and stanozolol are non-Specified Substances in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Magomedov refused to take a sample collection from a request by a doping control officer during an out-of-competition test on February 5, 2019.  As indicated by the release, the refusal or failure to submit to a sample collection without compelling justification is grounds for a doping violation.

Payout Perspective:

This is the harshest penalty doled out by USADA as Magomedov is now permanently gone from the UFC unless he appeals the decision.  One might infer that his refusal to take the February 5, 2019 random drug test meant that he was concerned that he would test positive and instead of submitting to a test he decided not to do it.

Court dismisses all but one claim in Mark Hunt’s lawsuit against the UFC

February 14, 2019

In a 28-page order filed on Thursday, the United States District Court of Nevada dismissed all but one of UFC fighter Mark Hunt’s claims in his lawsuit alleging among its claims breach of contract, fraud and RICO Violations against the UFC.

The Order dismissed White and Lesnar in the lawsuit  leaving just the UFC as the lone defendant.  For background of the case, you can go here.

An analysis of the Motion to Dismiss hearing is here.

Order on Motion to Dismiss by on Scribd

The Court had allowed Hunt the right to amend his Complaint to include further details supporting his claims under RICO Act violations and fraud. However, the Court was not persuaded by Hunt’s amended and supplemental complaint.

In total, 9 out of the 10 claims in Hunt’s lawsuit were dismissed.

The Court determined that Hunt’s claims under the state and federal RICO statutes failed because either the allegations were “non-cognizable damages or failed to plead facts to show” a proximate cause to his financial losses.

The Court specifically took aim at Hunt’s loss to Lesnar at UFC 200.  The Court did not agree with Hunt that due to his loss to Lesnar, it proximately caused ancillary injuries to Hunt including cancelled promotional events post-UFC 200 costing him over $90,000 in appearance fees, a “dip” in his social media popularity and diminished advertising fees as well as a loss of licensing fees and sales for his personal clothing brand.   Here, the Court could not side with Hunt and believed that his RICO allegations failed for lack of proximate cause as they were “fatally speculative.”

In response to Hunt’s arguments that it could introduce expert testimony at a later stage of litigation to show the causation, the Court cited to precedent which stated that “it does not mean that the mere possibility of expert testimony down the line can rehabilitate allegations that insufficiently establish proximate causation.”  Moreover, the Court concludes that his claims cannot prove that Hunt would have beaten Lesnar if he was not doping.

As for the allegations related to White and the UFC, the Court infers that Hunt relates his claim to the removal of his fight from UFC Fight Night 121 (“referred to as UFC 121 in the order”) after he wrote an article claiming to suffer from slurred speech and other maladies he attributes to fighting.  The Court found fatal defects in the pleading as this was the portion of his claim in his Supplemental Complaint.  But he did not provide sufficient notice to the defendants.  Nevertheless, the Court dismissed the claim as it believed that the costs he attributed to training camp as not financial losses that do not constitute damage to “tangible property” under the RICO statute.

The lack of proximate cause also proved fatal for Hunt’s claims against White for alleged “aiding and abetting” and common law fraud.  Here again the Court refers to the lack of evidence linking White’s representations including the claim Lesnar was being tested by USADA with the alleged doping scheme.

The Court also dismissed Hunt’s breach of contract claim because he was paid for his fight against Lesnar at UFC 200.  In addition, the Court states that since Hunt’s damages relate to items that occurred after his loss, and not his contracted pay, the claim must be dismissed.

The Court determined that Hunt’s unjust enrichment claim must also fail because it stems from his contract with the UFC.  He received what he was owed in the contract and there is no compensation for Hunt’s perception that his services exceeded the scope of the contract.

Hunt’s battery and aiding and abetting claims fail because he consented to the fight with Lesnar.  Moreover, there was no evidence that Lesnar did anything outside “the range of the ordinary activity,” in an MMA bout.  The Court cites to a California case in which a pitcher intentionally threw a pitch at a batter’s head which injured the batter.  The Court sided with the pitcher stating that while throwing at a batter’s head is “forbidden by the rules of baseball,” it “is an inherent risk of baseball.”  By analogy, the Court states that even though Lesnar tested positive for a performance enhancing drug, there was no evidence submitted which revealed that he did something outside the scope of an MMA bout.  Thus, there is no battery claim against Lesnar.

Finally, the civil conspiracy claims must fail because the Court dismissed Hunt’s fraud and battery claims.  Since the underlying claims were dismissed, there cannot be a conspiracy claim.

The Court also authorized the remaining parties (i.e., UFC and Hunt) to attend a settlement conference.  In all likelihood, the parties will settle.

Payout Perspective:

In all likelihood, this case will be over after the settlement conference.  Cases for breaches of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in contract have a low likelihood of victory for the plaintiff.  Based on the Court’s opinion which dismissed Hunt’s case for lack of proximate cause to his claims, it would only be a matter of time before Hunt’s last claim is dismissed.  This is an unfortunate result for Hunt.  While it’s clear that the allegations were tied together by a thread, it’s clear that he was tired of being put in the Octagon with opponents that failed drug tests. While Hunt may have had several good points in his lawsuit, the Court did not find anything of legal substance to keep the case afloat.  MMA Payout will keep you posted if there would be an appeal.

6 month USADA sanction for UFC flyweight

January 15, 2019

UFC flyweight Jennifer Maia accepted a six-month sanction for violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy after she tested positive for a contaminated dietary supplement.

Per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy:

Maia, 30, tested positive for furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, chlorothiazide, and the thiazide metabolite 4-amino-6-chloro-1,3-benzenedisulfonamide (ACB), following an out-of-competition test conducted on August 16, 2018. These substances are Specified Substances in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and are prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

During an investigation into the circumstances of her case, opened and sealed containers of a dietary supplement she was using at the time of the August 16, 2018 sample collection, and that she declared on her doping control form, were sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Brazil for analysis. Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement label, the analysis revealed that both contained the prohibited substances for which Maia tested positive. Accordingly, this product has been added to the High Risk List of supplements maintained on USADA’s online dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource – Supplement 411 (www.Supplement411.org). Further, USADA reminds athletes that dietary supplement products marketed for weight loss carry significant risk to contain prohibited prescription medications, such as diuretics.

Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, the determination that an athlete’s positive test was caused by a contaminated product may result in a reduced sanction. The sanction for a doping offense resulting from the use of a contaminated product ranges from a reprimand and no period of ineligibility to a two-year period of ineligibility.

Maia’s period of ineligibility began on August 31, 2018.  Maia has had just one fight in the UFC, a loss to Liz Carmouche in July 2018 in Boise.  Prior t that, she was the Invicta FC Flyweight Champion.

Payout Perspective:

This is another situation where a contaminated supplement yields a sanction despite the fact the fighter had been forthcoming with the information for USADA.  It was clear based on the investigation that the supplement she took was contaminated.  Moreover, the supplement was not on the “high risk” list of supplements.  And while her suspension was reduced from two years to six months, it would seem that she would not have to serve any penalty based on the facts.

 

Next Page »