Do you think steroid use has become an epidemic in Mixed Martial Arts? Or are a majority of the fighters who have tested positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs so ignorant about anti-doping policies, or the victims of tainted meat, shady nutritional supplements, or inept athletic commissions? After Yoel Romero’s latest chemical Doping in MMA that stemmed from an out-of-competition drug test, we look back at some of the most infamous steroid bust in mixed martial arts ever since the Nevada State Athletic Commission decided to test fighters for performance-enhancing drugs.
Many MMA fighters have failed to clear drugs tests for elevated Testosterone levels ever since Chael Sonnen, once one of the most prominent names in the UFC. Sonnen, who last competed in the light heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, had an unallowably high testosterone/epitestosterone ratio of 16.9:1 at the time of the fight after his loss to Anderson Silva. The T/E ratio of Sonnen was as much as 17 times more than a normal man and over 4 times the maximum allowed for an athlete.
No talks about doping in MMA could be complete without the mention of Josh Barnett, the first and current Metamoris Heavyweight Champion. The American professional wrestler who competes in the heavyweight division of the UFC was all set to compete against Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction’s 3rd event Affliction: Trilogy on August 1, 2009. The bout was one of the most anticipated match-ups between the then number two Heavyweight Barnett and the then one Heavyweight Emelianenk.
The first positive test of Barnett is what inspired the Nevada State Athletic Commission to regularly test UFC fighters for banned performance-enhancing drugs. Bernett was previously caught following his TKO victory over Randy Couture at UFC 36; he tested positive for Boldenone, Nandrolone, and Fluoxymesterone. Bernett, who won the UFC Heavyweight Championship after defeating Couture, by TKO was later stripped due to failed drug test. The UFC fighter also tested positive for a banned substance after his UFC 34 bout against Bobby Hoffman on November 2, 2001 but was let off after a warning by the NSAC.
Some of the other eminent UFC fighters who have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs include Chris Leben (Oxycodone and Oxymorphone), Hector Lombard (Desoxymethyltestosterone), Vitor Belfort (elevated testosterone), Alistair Overeem (testosterone), Nick Diaz (Marijuana), Ken Shamrock (19-Norandrosterone, 19-Noretiocholanolone, and Stanozolol), Stephan Bonnar (Drostanolone), Anderson Silva (Drostanolone and Androstane), Tim Sylvia (Stanozolol), Wanderlei Silva (refusal to submit to the drug tests), and Thiago Tavares (Drostanolone).
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the American mixed martial arts Promotion Company, and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts still reel from their doping scandals but the recent association of UFC with the United States Anti-Doping Agency has stopped “to an extent” the epidemic of doping in Mixed Martial Arts but it seems like MMA would never get rid of cheaters. Enough has been said and done by athletics commission and MMA bosses and yet MMA fighters could still blame their positive tests on oversights, lack of knowledge, witch hunts, and inconsistent policies.