The world of sports is not safe from cheating—and drugs.
Many athletes speed up or cheat their way to the top through the use of strength and power enhancing drugs such as steroids, hormones, stimulants, and even marijuana. This is called doping and most common in sports that require bodies to jack up in no time. For this matter, we will be talking about mixed martial arts where this dark system is usually discovered.
Doping is prohibited because it is an obvious way of getting the upperhand against the opponent. It also risks the health of an athlete and overall tarnishes the essence of sports which is about triumphing with grace and honesty.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company, had faced a lot of doping cases of their MMA fighters on steroids or similar substances. Here are a few of them:
#1 Brock Lesnar
One of the most well-known faces in the field of fighting sports—having appeared in WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), NFL (National Football League), and then UFC—Brock Lesnar was in the zenith of his comeback when he cheated to win an MMA match against Mark Hunt back in 2016.
Before the fight, Lesnar was able to avoid the mandatory drug testing due to his MMA return being announced late. Nonetheless, Lesnar tested positive before and after the fight with clomiphene and hydroxy-clomiphene, which are anti-estrogen drugs. He was eventually banned from playing the sports for a year because of the Anti-Doping Policy violation.
In 2018, Lesnar returned to the drug-testing pool in order to get back to the MMA ring.
#2 Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen, known for his extreme trash talking to his opponents, was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) in 2010. It was due to the high amount of testosterone found in his urine after his loss to Anderson Silva. After his suspension, Sonnen made his return and beat a few fighters but is then once again suspended before his fight with Wanderlei Silva because of failing his drug tests.
His third drug test failure came after his retirement from MMA when he was found with performance enhancing drugs such as somatotropin, anastrozole, erythropoietin, and gonadotropin in his body.
Sonnen is currently under Bellator MMA and has faced different fighters since the completion of his suspension.
#3 Josh Barnett
Known as The Babyfaced Assassin due to being the youngest Heavyweight champion in UFC after defeating Randy Couture, Josh Barnett has all the spotlight on him—until he was discovered positive for banned substances both before and after the famed fight. After earning his reputation back again by fighting in Japan, Barnett returned under Affliction Entertainment which was a mixed martial arts company trying to rival UFC. Before a fight with Fedor Emelianenko, however, Barnett was once again tested positive for banned substances.
In 2013, Barnett returned to UFC and experienced several MMA victories but by 2016 after a long series of drug tests, he is once again accused of doping. Now, Barnett was seeking to leave UFC because of his distrust of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
#4 Nick Diaz
Nick Diaz, older brother to Nate Diaz, is regarded as one of the first MMA fighters who popularized the sport. He had numerous achievements in the field of fighting with titles in several prestigious fighting tournaments apart from UFC. In 2007, after his fight against Takanori Gomi, Diaz was found positive of marijuana and was suspended for six months by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC).
After five years, Diaz again came out as positive for marijuana metabolites following his fight against Carlos Condit in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nick Diaz was then represented by Las Vegas criminal defense laywer Attorney Ross Goodman who countered that the marijuana that was in his system was ingested “out of competition”. Goodman also helped Diaz on a domestic violence case in 2018 where Diaz was eventually freed of charges because of the inconsistency of the accusations.
Diaz was actually once again revealed positive of marijuana in 2015 and was charged with five-year ban from competing in UFC or other related sports. He remains on hiatus as of today.
#5 Wanderlei Silva
Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva was a fighter known for UFC and holds the most wins in PRIDE, a Japanese martial arts company. Despite his triumphs, Silva was tempted to dope, which was evident from his failure to submit to drug testings before a fight with Chael Sonnen in 2014. Silva was charged with a hefty lifetime ban by NAC which was ultimately converted to only a three-year ban. Silva was represented by Attorney Ross Goodman who argued that Silva should not be under Nevada Athletic Commission’s jurisdiction as Silva’s not a licensed fighter.
As of 2018, Silva is signed with Bellator and had a recent series of MMA bouts.
There really is no other answer to why there are a lot of UFC fighters on steroids than the pressure of being always on top and being always prominent. Arguably, this shows the ugly side of this business that is riddled with fame and money. A far cry from what fighting sports is originally about. Still, this does not generalize athletes. It just so happens that there are ones who fall into these traps and it will never always be too late to get back up and reclaim a much deserve glory.
Are you an athlete accused of doping? Even with a strong body and mind, you cannot do it alone. Get the help of a criminal defense lawyer today!