Saturday 25 January 2020

Former UFC champion admits testing positive for a performance enhancing drug

Jack de Menezes

Former light heavyweight UFC champion Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida has admitted using a banned performance enhancing drug after providing a positive test, with his scheduled UFC on Fox 19 fight with Dan Henderson called off.

Machida [22-7] claims he did not know that Dehydroepiandrosterone [DHEA] was on the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s [Usada] prohibited list, and admitted to taking a supplement called 7-Keto which contains the “anabolic agent” DHEA.

Machida openly revealed that he had taken the substance before taking the out-of-competition test which resulted in a positive sample, and it supports his claim that he was unaware that the drug was banned from all Usada-regulated competition, as the UFC is.

Writing in a statement that appeared on his Facebook page in Portuguese, Machida said: “Guys, I just wanted to let you know that I was caught off-guard, too. It’s been very hard for me. I trained very hard for this fight. I dedicated myself a lot with my team. I want to tell you that I didn’t know about this substance. It was something that actually declared in my test. I said, ‘No, I’m taking all these things,’ and this substance was banned in 2016.

“It was my mistake, and I own up to it because I didn’t know about it,” Machida added. “I just want to apologise to all of you, to all my fans, from all my heart. To all my team, to all my family. I always try to play fair, but this time, this happened.”

Machida added that he will take full responsibility for the positive test, and as a first-time offender, Machida could be banned

However, while Machida claims that DHEA was added to the prohibited list on 1 January 2016 – much like the recent scandal surrounding the banned substance Meldonium – DHEA can be found on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s [Wada] World Anti-Doping Code as far back as 2005and has been conceded a performance enhancing drug for the last decade.

Having once been one of the leading fighters in the light heavyweight division where he won the championship in 2009 by defeating Rashad Evans, Machida has fallen off the radar somewhat in recent years.

After losing the title in May 2010 to Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Machida regained momentum with a knockout victory over Randy Couture only to lose a second title shot against Jon ‘Bones’ Jones in December 2011, and a move down to middleweight saw him come out on the wrong side of a unanimous decision in a title fight with Chris Weidman.

More recently, Machida lost to current middleweight champion Luke Rockhold before his most recent outing – against Yoel Romero at UFC Fight Night 70 in July last year – also ended in defeat.

Unsurprisingly, Henderson did not welcome the news of Machida’s positive test and subsequent withdrawal from their bout this Saturday, with Henderson looking to gain revenge for his defeat by Machida at UFC 157.

The UFC confirmed that Henderson will not fight this weekend, and will instead be re-booked for a fight in the near future.

A UF statement read: “The UFC organization was made aware today [Wednesday] by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency  (USADA), the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, that Lyoto Machida declared the usage of a banned substance during an out-of-competition sample collection last week. Machida stated that he was unaware that the substance was prohibited both in and out of competition and, in accordance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, his disclosure of usage will be taken into consideration by USADA during any potential results management and adjudication process.

“Given this information, UFC officials have elected to remove Machida from his scheduled bout against Dan Henderson this Saturday in Tampa, Fla. Henderson will be re-booked for a new bout in the near future.”

(© Independent News Service)

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