May 15, 2012
Are steroids an epidemic in MMA?
Is steroid use an epidemic in MMA? Or are most of the fighters who have tested positive simply the victims of inept athletic commissions, shady nutritional supplements, and tainted goat meat? After Josh Barnett's latest chemical misadventure took down Affliction, we decided to round up every steroid bust in the sport since early 2002, when the Nevada State Athletic Commission began testing MMA fighters for performance-enhancing drugs. The results…may shock you. *** JOSH BARNETT (Pt. 1) Caught: 4/22/02, following his TKO victory over Randy Couture at UFC 36. Tested positive for: Boldenone, Nandrolone, and Fluoxymesterone Punishment: A six-month suspension from the NSAC and the loss of his UFC heavyweight title. Barnett fought the steroid charge, and didn't compete again in the U.S. until PRIDE 32, four and a half years later. (See: Belfort, Nastula) In his own words: "I am a fighter, not a lawyer. I am innocent, and I should be fighting right now." Repeat offender: Barnett actually tested positive once before, for two different anabolic steroids, following his submission via strikes victory over Bobby Hoffman at UFC 34 in November 2001. Josh was let off with a warning (which went unheeded, apparently) and the incident was never officially reported - but according to Sherdog's Mike Sloan, Barnett's first positive steroid test is what inspired Nevada to begin regularly testing UFC fighters for performance enhancing drugs. TIM SYLVIA Caught: 10/7/03, following his first-round knockout of Gan McGee at UFC 44. Tested positive for: Stanozolol Punishment: $10,000 fine and a six-month suspension from the NSAC. Sylvia voluntarily vacated his heavyweight title following his positive steroid test. In his own words: "[A]fter I fought Ricco [Rodriguez], I was in for a long layoff. I decided to try some things and maybe change my physique a little bit and get in better shape. But whatever I used, it came back positive. I don't know how that happened. I did it so long ago and I was way off it before I fought McGee. I think they found it in my fat cells. I guess it stays in there for a while, huh?…I heard what Josh [Barnett] had used, so I used something different and I was only using it to trim my physique. I thought that what I was using, it was going to be out by the time I fought McGee. I fought Gan and apparently it wasn't out." KIMO LEOPOLDO (Pt. 1) Caught: 8/16/04, following his TKO loss to Ken Shamrock at UFC 48. Tested positive for: Stanozolol Punishment: $5,000 fine and a six-month suspension from the NSAC. In his own words: "I wasn't quite on par for that fight, and yeah, I did use some substances, and I did do some Winstrol in that fight, but at that time it was so early that I didn't know I was going to be tested. That doesn't justify it, but I wasn't using it as a performance enhancer to be strong or whatever. It was just something… an extra little kick." Leading by example: "Yes, I used steroids in my past to help support my efforts as a professional athlete/fighter. However, my experiences whether negative or positive have given me greater insight into the crutches of life's downfalls and my decisions today come from experiences. I will say that my choices and decision-making ability are educated decisions and made from a position of informed consent, as opposed to blind guidance. I can be honest about my past and can look a fighter in the eye and tell him/her with great confidence that use of illicit substances is not worth the future health issues it creates nor is it worth the risk they are taking against their license." NATE MARQUARDT Caught: 8/15/05, following his unanimous decision win over Ivan Salaverry at Ultimate Fight Night 1. Tested positive for: Nandrolone Punishment: No fine and a suspension lifted by the NSAC on January 5th, after two separate follow-up tests came up negative for the drug. In his own words: "I never thought it'd be an issue. I'd been taking some over-the-counter supplements at a Max Muscle store. It was something like what Mark McGwire took, androstenedione. I never thought of that stuff being tested. It was a stupid mistake. People are going to believe what they want to believe, but I've been clean in my last three fights - I'm not taking anything that's not independently tested anymore - and I'm fighting just as well as I ever have…I know some guys just knowingly take steroids, but there's not enough [information] about what causes false positives, about contamination risks, all that. You have to watch out for things. We don't always know what not to take. That's the real gray area. That's my story." KIMO LEOPOLDO (Pt. 2) Caught: 7/20/06, two days before he was scheduled to fight Bas Rutten at WFA: King of the Streets. Tested positive for: Stanozolol Punishment: Leopoldo was pulled from the match with Rutten, but received no official punishment. Kimo took a fight in London two months after the WFA incident (a submission loss against Dave Legeno), and fought in Hawaii just one week after that, losing to Wes Sims by TKO. In the words of Bas Rutten: "Every guy who uses steroids to fight is a fucking pussy. For him to do this shit after all the promotion he did, all the shit he talked about me - taking me out in minutes and all that bullshit - apparently that was the steroids talking, right?" In Kimo's own words: "I actually had a prescribed medication that was in my system. I had a knee surgery that I had approximately a year ago, so my doctor prescribed me a few things to help me out in my recovery, and this was taken before I even had a clue about this fight with Bas. I was completely done taking it when I found out about this fight…I really believed that it would be out of my system. I knew I was going to get tested, after my previous thing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. I know no matter what now every fight is going to be like that. Now, knowing this and I'm a pretty intelligent guy, when I step into this doctor's office, if I had any clue and I was going to cheat, I would have had fake pee. There's a lot of ways around tests if you want to cheat, but I had no reason to do that because I felt I was correct…I don't want to sound like one of those guys who says they were set up, but I don't feel like I was done right." VITOR BELFORT Caught: 10/26/06, following his unanimous decision loss to Dan Henderson at PRIDE 32. Tested positive for: 4-Hydroxytestosterone Punishment: $10,000 fine and a nine-month suspension from the NSAC. In his own words: "I bought a supplement called 'Max Tribostak' at Max Muscle in La Habra, California, which contains 4-Hydroxytestosterone. I had no idea that a supplement bought over the counter at a vitamin store would contain a substance that is illegal in the state of Nevada." PAWEL NASTULA Caught: 10/26/06, following his submission loss against Josh Barnett at PRIDE 32. Tested positive for: Nandrolone Punishment: $6,500 fine and a nine-month suspension from the NSAC. In his own defense: "Nastula has denied the veracity of the test results, claiming that the stimulants were absorbed into his system from over-the-counter supplements and that nandrolone, a mass-building substance, would not have been useful to him as he has not gained any muscle mass since coming to PRIDE." STEPHAN BONNAR Caught: 11/3/06, following his second unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 62. Tested positive for: Boldenone Punishment: $5,000 fine and a nine-month suspension from the NSAC. In his own words: "I was desperate. My right elbow had been bad for a while, and I hurt it bad getting ready for Rashad [Evans on June 28]. Right after that fight, I thought I'd have some time off to do some therapy, rehab and heal. And five days later, I get a call to fight Forrest in a month and a half. I was worried. I was looking for something to speed up the healing. I just was worried I was not going to be able to fight, and they needed me. This wasn't an undercard fight; it was the main event. Pulling out was not an option." KIT COPE Caught: 1/25/07, following his submission via strikes loss to Rob McCullough at WEC 25. Tested positive for: Boldenone Punishment: $1,167 fine and a nine-month suspension from the NSAC. In his own words: "I got a complete reconstruction of the AC joint in my shoulder which sucks a lot. After that the doctor a shot a substance called Boldenone and that is an anabolic substance…What that does is basically, in athletes, doctors will give them those substances which increases protein faster and help me heal faster. It was definitely not for performance… This stuff can stay in your system for 18 months, very similar to Nandrolone, which a lot of people test positive for…I only scored a 7 and it's detectable at 5, so in a few days, a few pisses, it would have been gone. Below 5 it is not findable. It's not that the substance is not in your body but they test for the trash it leaves behind…so it wasn't active in my body just the shit it left. Which proves it was very old. So every bit of common sense shows I was not taking it for a performance enhancer." JOHNNIE MORTON Caught: 6/13/07, following his 38-second knockout loss against Bernard Ackah at Dynamite!! USA. Tested positive for: Unspecified anabolic steroids. Morton's pre-fight urine test came back as positive for a very elevated T/E (testosterone) ratio - 83.9, when the average for an athlete is 6. Punishment: $2,500 fine and an indefinite suspension from the California State Athletic Commission. Morton's $100,000 purse was also withheld after he refused to take a post-fight drug test. He hasn't competed since. ROYCE GRACIE Caught: 6/14/07, following his unanimous decision win over Kazushi Sakuraba at Dynamite!! USA. Tested positive for: Nandrolone Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. Gracie hasn't competed since. In his own words: "I have no idea what they're talking about. Look at my first UFC. 178 [pounds]. Look at my last fight. 180. For accusing me of using drugs…I never gained a pound in my life. It's not like I went from 178 to 200 pounds. It's ridiculous." JORGE ORTIZ Caught: 6/26/07, following his TKO loss to Jesse Taylor at Total Combat 21. Tested positive for: Nandrolone Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. PHIL BARONI Caught: 7/7/07, following his technical submission loss to Frank Shamrock at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni. Tested positive for: Boldenone and Stanozolol Punishment: $2,500 fine and a six-month suspension from the CSAC, reduced from one year after an appeal; follow-up tests with Baroni's urine sample came back negative for the drugs. In his own words: "I don't do stuff like that. I don't need it. Being big and strong has never been something I needed help with." SEAN SHERK Caught: 7/19/07, following his unanimous decision win against Hermes Franca at UFC 73. Tested positive for: Nandrolone Punishment: The loss of his UFC lightweight title, a $2,500 fine, and a one-year suspension from the CSAC which was reduced to six-months after Sherk made an appeal arguing that the testing lab (Quest Laboratories) used dirty vials and botched the chain of custody for his sample. In his own words: "I didn't know you could go into a store like a GNC and buy something that would have illegal stuff in it, but I guess you can. I was stunned. I didn't know that. I've also started doing my own pre-testing, which I'll do before every fight now just to be sure… I took the polygraph test three times to try and prove that I was telling the truth. I know they say polygraphs aren't 100% reliable, but after three tests you'd think that if I was lying it would have shown up in at least one of them. I've got nothing to hide. I've always said that and tried to prove that. I have absolutely nothing to hide. I've done everything I can do to clear my name. It's up to each individual to look at the facts and decide for themselves whether they believe me or not. The problem is that a lot of people don't bother to look at the facts first. They just hear 'positive test' and they look at me and what I've done and think, 'Oh, he's got to be on something.'" HERMES FRANCA Caught: 7/19/07, following his unanimous decision loss to Sean Sherk at UFC 73. Tested positive for: Drostanolone Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. In his own words: "I would like to apologize to my fans, the UFC, my students and family. I offer only an explanation and not an excuse. I made a decision during a difficult time in my training for the fight that I regret. About 8 weeks out from the fight, I badly injured my ankle during a training session. For the following week I had rested it, rehabbed it and tried to work around the injury. It was obvious that I could not train as required. I contacted the UFC and explained my injury and how I could not possibly train to the level I thought I would need in order to be properly prepared for my fight. I asked the UFC if we could push the fight out to the following UFC with the chance that it could happen. They explained that they could not do that and that the card had been set and it isn't as easy as just moving around a fight. I totally understood their position. They asked me to keep them informed should I not be able to fight… I had not fought for 5 months. Fighting is literally how I put food on my wife and child's table and how I pay my bills. As a fighter though, even at this level, I live a simple life and I literally live from fight to fight. Not getting a paycheck for another few months and losing my chance to fight Sean for the title was overpowering. Fighting is the life I chose and I love it… At this point, I was desperate and needed anything I could to get my injury as close to healing as possible and be able to recover from the daily training regimen I was going through. I made the shortsighted choice to hopefully accelerate the healing process and allow me to keep training. Under the pressure of literally not being able to pay next month's bills I made a choice. I had to fight and did whatever I could to do so. I hope my fans, students, the UFC and the public accept my sincere apology. Whatever punishment is dictated by the California Athletic Commission, I will understand. I would like to get through this very difficult time and the times ahead and get back to fighting. All the best to my fans and much thanks to my family and friends that continue to support me during these times." ANTHONY TORRES Caught: 10/3/07, following his TKO loss to Jess Liaudin at UFC 75. Tested positive for: Boldenone. Torres was the first fighter to be caught by a UFC-administered steroid test. Punishment: Torres was released from his UFC contract. Since there was no athletic commission that had jurisdiction where the fight took place (London, England), he wasn't fined or suspended from competition, although U.S. athletic commissions were informed of his positive test. Torres competed four months later in his native Hawaii, losing a decision to Michael Brightmon, and hasn't fought since. BILL MAHOOD Caught: 10/15/07, following his submission via rib injury loss to Bobby Southworth at Strikeforce's first Playboy Mansion show. Tested positive for: Drostanolone Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. In his own words: "I did in fact start the use of an anabolic agent approximately the third week in August. This was at a time that I thought I was done fighting and was suffering from a chronic joint inflammation of my hip. I did not want to miss the opportunity of fighting for a great promoter like Strikeforce…I do believe that there was no benefit from the amount ingested. I still tested positive and for that I would like to apologize to Strikeforce, Bodog Fight, and the sport of MMA in general." Oddly enough: Despite owning up to the steroid use, Mahood tried to appeal his suspension anyway. He returned to action this past March, scoring a submission win over Marcus Hicks at a King of the Cage event in Edmonton. ADAM SMITH Caught: 10/17/07, following his unanimous decision loss to Dewey Cooper at Strikeforce's first Playboy Mansion show. Tested positive for: Nandrolone and Stanozolol - as well as cocaine and marijuana. Punishment: $4,000 fine and a 21-month suspension from the CSAC. Smith earned just $500 for the fight. And the cherry on the failure cake: "Adam Smith's appeal was dropped after he failed to appear at his scheduled hearing." JASON WINTHERS Caught: 11/19/07, following his TKO loss against Richard Blake at Rebel Fights: Unleashed Fury. Tested positive for: Stanozolol and the veterinary steroid Trenbolone - as well as methadone and morphine. Sounds like somebody's been partying with Adam Smith… Punishment: $4,000 fine and a 21-month suspension from the CSAC. RUBEN VILLAREAL Caught: 11/28/07, following his TKO loss to Jimmy Ambriz at WCO: Kerr vs. Gavin. Tested positive for: 4-Hydroxytestosterone Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. In his own words: "I like to take an estrogen blocker, and at this particular time there was a new estrogen blocker on the market. I went to the local store, and anybody can pick this stuff up…Unfortunately with my arrogance, I had no idea that it had an andro stack in it…I should have known better. You need to know what you're taking. Even if you go to GNC or Wal-Mart, there's products out there that will test you dirty if you're not careful." DENNIS HALLMAN Caught: 11/29/07, following his submission win over Jeremiah Metcalf at Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives. Tested positive for: Drostanolone and Nandrolone Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. In his own words: "I took steroids to help my neck injury heal after I had a discectomy on my C-5, 6 and 7. I wasn't taking them to get huge or strong, just to heal faster. I honestly think that taking steroids is counter-productive for MMA, they do not improve how you punch or how good you are at subs. They actually hurt your cardio which is the biggest factor in MMA. That being said, I made the decision to take steroids, even though I believe that in my circumstance they should be allowed (for healing injuries)… Looking back, it was a good thing getting suspended. It showed me that I didn't have to fight every time a fight came up. I had fought unprepared and unhealthy many times in my career. The year break showed me that there will be other fights. It kinda made me grow up a little as a fighter." ALEXANDER CRISPIM Caught: 11/29/07, following his unanimous decision win over Clint Coronel at Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives. Tested positive for: Desoxymethyltestosterone Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. CARINA DAMM Caught: 5/15/08, following her submission win over Sophie Bagherdai at Femme Fatale Fighting 4. Tested positive for: Nandrolone Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. You've come a long way, baby: Damm is the first female MMA fighter to test positive for steroids. ALEXANDRE NOGUEIRA Caught: 7/7/08, following his TKO loss to Jose Aldo at WEC 34. Tested positive for: Boldenone Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. In his own words: "I never used anything…If I used something it would be growth hormones, which is what every top athlete usually uses. I took the usual supplements - Glutamine, Creatine and Myoplex. If I had taken it, I would be very aggressive in the fight, and those who saw it realize that I was not aggressive. And this type of anabolic steroid is to get fat, to gain weight, and is used on animals. I had seminars and I had only eaten in restaurants specializing in barbecued meat, and they use this in cattle and goats there and they may have used it in any animal that I ate." ANTONIO SILVA Caught: 8/21/08, following his TKO win over Justin Eilers at EliteXC: Unfinished Business. Tested positive for: Boldenone Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. The following January, Silva thumbed his abnormally large nose at the suspension and took a fight in Japan, defeating Yoshihiro "Kiss" Nakao by first-round TKO due to injury. In his own words: "I did not use the steroid Boldenone, or any other steroid of prohibited substance. I dont agree and never have agreed with the use of this kind of product in order to win, for this is cheating. I will go to the full extent of my power and the law to prove my innocence in this matter." In his manager's words: Silva's positive test for Boldenone was caused by his use of Novadex, a testosterone-booster that Silva uses to counteract the low testosterone levels caused by his acromegaly. "He has to treat it," said Alex Davis. "He spends between $6,000 and $8,000 a month just on medicine for it. He needs to be able to keep fighting to make a living. If it's between Antonio's health and pleasing the athletic commission, we have to choose his health." EDWIN DEWEES Caught: 8/21/08, following his TKO loss against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at Affliction: Banned. Tested positive for: A massive amount of Nandrolone. The CSAC's Bill Douglas said that the amount of the steroid in Dewees' system - 499ng/ml, if you want to get technical - was "hard to explain." Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. CHRIS LEBEN Caught: 11/3/08, following his decision loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 89. Tested positive for: Stanozolol Punishment: Forfeit of one-third of his fight purse and a nine-month suspension. Leben will return to action at UFC 102 against Jake Rosholt. In his own words: "I've really done everything I can to turn my life around, and this is a huge setback for me. But it's something I will have to deal with. During my time off from fighting, I want to speak to kids about the dangers of using performance-enhancing agents and let them know it just doesn't get you ahead in life. Of course, this is a hard hit for me monetarily, but more so this is embarrassing for me and for all my fans." KIRILL SIDELNIKOV Caught: 3/3/09, following his TKO loss to Paul Buentello at Affliction: Day of Reckoning. Tested positive for: Stanozolol Punishment: $2,500 fine and one-year suspension from the CSAC. In May, Sidelnikov competed at an M-1 Challenge event in Russia (where the CSAC suspension wasn't recognized), earning a submission win over Rezvan Danyalov. In M-1's own words: "In preparation for his Affliction debut against Paul Buentello in January, Kirill spent some time training outside of the Imperial Team family in St. Petersburg. Kirill indicated that during that time away he began to experience complications from a broken nose that he had recently sustained. Not wanting to miss any training time leading up to 'Day of Reckoning,' Kirill followed the advice of a coach not affiliated with M-1 who gave him a nose spray commonly used in Russia to help treat some of his symptoms. It is M-1â€²s belief that the nose spray is what contained the Stanozol. For those that are skeptical of this explanation, we believe Kirill's account is true based in large part to his physique. If he had been using large amounts of Stanozol on a regular basis, we believe that the frame of his upper body would have contained leaner muscle that had more definition. While we are not citing youth as an excuse, we feel we need to offer the public an explanation and we attribute the mistake in part to the fact that Kirill is just 20 years of age." KEN SHAMROCK Caught: 3/11/09, following his submission win over super-heavyweight tubbaguts Ross Clifton at WarGods: Valentine's Eve Massacre. Tested positive for: 19-Norandrosterone, 19-Noretiocholanolone, and Stanozolol Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. In his manager's words: "Ken was taking legal over-the-counter products, and based upon our preliminary research, I'm investigating if those products were the result of these findings," said Rod Donohoo. In his brother's words: "Ken did [steroids] his whole life. Why do you think that his mind is so fried? Why do you think he crumbles before the big fights? He's got no psyche. He let steroids give him a false sense of security and the moment that stuff is gone he's no longer superman." JOSH BARNETT (Pt. 2) Caught: 7/21/09, 11 days before he was scheduled to fight Fedor Emelianenko in the main event of Affliction: Trilogy. Tested positive for: Drostanolone Punishment: The eternal shame of single-handedly taking down an entire MMA organization and costing 23 other fighters their paychecks; the likelihood of never being licensed to fight in the U.S. again. In his own words: "I never once thought there would be a problem." COLE PROVINCE Caught: 8/17/09, following his unanimous decision win over Fredson Paixao at WEC 42. Tested positive for: Methasterone Punishment: $4,000 fine and a nine-month suspension from the NSAC; his win against Paixao was changed to a no-contest. In his own words: "Province…is convinced the positive test resulted from his use of the supplement SOS 500 from Double Dragon Pharmaceuticals. 'I wasn't trying to get any super-human strength or anything like that, I just wanted to get some extra water into my muscles,' Province told Sherdog.com. 'I didn't know it was banned but, still, with that said, I am responsible. I should have checked into it but I just want to make it clear that I took an over-the-counter supplement, not steroids.'" CHAEL SONNEN Caught: 9/18/10, following his submission loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 117. Tested positive for: Originally dubbed a "natural steroid," Sonnen was flagged by the California State Athletic Commission after his T/E (testosterone/epitestosterone) ratio came in at over four times the legal threshold. Punishment: $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension from the CSAC, which was reduced to six months after an appeal on December 3rd. Sonnen claimed that he had been undergoing testosterone replacement therapy since 2008 due to hypogonadism, and was under the impression that he'd received the proper approval for the treatment. In his own words: "I was found not guilty on the substance issue. You used the term 'steroids' which is a pretty big catchword. It's really not fair. With that said, testosterone falls under the category of steroids. But that's like saying that mouthwash falls in the category of alcohol. Or cough syrup is alcohol. It's not exactly the same thing and it's not what we're talking about. One is a medicine versus an illegal substance. I was never accused or suspected of [using] an illegal substance. That was an online rumor that was started and perpetuated and I never did anything to step in to stop it, but I was accused of taking testosterone without the proper disclosure. "Still to this moment, I don't know what the proper disclosure they were looking for was. I walked straight up to the [CSAC] commissioner and told him, 'This is what I'm on.' When they put their case forward, I didn't disagree with any of it. I went up and told him, 'This is gonna test positive tomorrow. What do you want me to do? Do you want me to write it down?' and he was like, 'Yeah, come here; let's write it down. He came out and used it against me, like, 'Chael even told me he was on something.' Right, I told you. That's what disclosure means. In the state of California, they don't have a form that needs filled out. They don't have anybody higher up to go to. They just simply use the word, 'disclose,' and that's what we did." VINICIUS QUIEROZ Caught: 11/2/10, following his submission loss to Rob Broughton at UFC 120. Tested positive for: Stanozolol Punishment: Quieroz was released by the UFC after failing a random drug screening administered by the promotion before their London event, and was forced to forfeit an undisclosed discretionary bonus. The UFC has informed the Nevada State Athletic Commission of Quieroz's failed test, which could affect his ability to secure a license to fight in the U.S. In his own words: "I was caught by surprise with this doping thing. I'd never use something that could ruin my career, something that could bring me any kind of problems…I won some imported supplements and I used it, and there were some prescribed medicines too…For what I've heard, the quantity of this substance on my test was very small, and my coach said that if I really had used it to have some kind of advantage on the fights, I'd have to take much more than that, so it wouldn't change anything. I don't have a single reason why to use it, this is a drug for you to lose weight and get stone, and I don't have any reasons to lose weight and fight a huge guy." JAMES IRVIN Caught: 3/2/11, following his submission loss to Jorge Oliveira at Tachi Palace Fights 7 Tested positive for: Epitrenbolone Punishment: Fine (undisclosed amount) and a one-year suspension from the CSAC. THIAGO SILVA Caught: 3/29/11, following his unanimous decision win over Brandon Vera at UFC 125. Tested positive for: Nothing, actually. Silva was temporarily suspended when the urine he provided for his UFC 125 drug test was deemed "inconsistent with human urine,"Â suggesting that he "submitted an adulterated and/or substituted specimen for testing for the urinalysis."Â In a hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 7th, Silva admitted that he submitted a synthetic urine sample to mask the fact that he had received injections of an unspecified steroid 45 and 30 days out from the Vera boutÂ to help him recover from a back injury. Punishment: $33,750 fine and a one-year suspension from the NSAC. In his own words: "I just want to apologize for what I did. I did what I did because my back was very, very bad a couple months (before the fight). I had not fought for one year. I was completely broke. I have a family. People depend on my money. I was desperate to do something.I know what I did is wrong. Like I said, I'm so sorry. I had my reasons. People depend on my money, and I had to give them support." CRISTIANE 'CRIS CYBORG' SANTOS Caught: 1/6/12, following her knockout win against Hiroko Yamanaka at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal. Tested positive for: Stanozolol Punishment:Â $2,500 fine and the suspension of her license by the CSAC. Santos was also stripped of her Strikeforce women's featherweight title and the result of her win over Yamanaka was changed to a no contest. In her own words: "While I was preparing myself for my last fight I was having a difficult time cutting weight and used a dietary supplement that I was assured was safe and not prohibited from use in sports competition. It was never my intention to obtain an unfair advantage over Hiroko, mislead StrikeForce, the Commission or my fans. I train harder than any fighter in MMA and do not need drugs to win in the cage, and I have proven this time and time again! My only mistake is not verifying the diet aid with my doctor beforehand, and understanding that it was not approved for use in the ring. Unfortunately in the end I suffer the consequences and must accept the responsibility for my actions. I will do everything I can to show my fans that I can still compete at the professional level without the use of any prohibited substances, and ask God's forgiveness for my mistake." MUHAMMAD 'KING MO' LAWAL Caught: 1/17/12, following his knockout win against Lorenz Larkin at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine. Tested positive for: Drostanalone Punishment:Â Lawal faces a one-year suspension, a fine, and the overturning of his win to a no-contest. In his own words: "I'm very surprised about this. I am very careful about what I put into my body. I've never tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. I've gone through, and still welcome, Olympic-style testing. I will do whatever is necessary to get to the bottom of this. I'm not a cheater. I might cheat at video games, but I never cheat at fighting." ALISTAIR OVEREEM Caught:Â 4/4/12, following the first random drug-test of his career. Tested positive for:Â A testosterone/epitestosterone level that was above 10:1 - well beyond the already-generous 6:1 ratio that the NSAC uses as a threshold. Punishment:Â TBA In his own words:Â TBA Honorable mentions: – Jeff Monson, for openly admitting past steroid use (even though he was never caught before or after a fight) and suggesting that steroids should be legalized. – Kevin Randleman, for submitting a urine sample that lacked human hormones, following his submission loss to Mauricio Rua at PRIDE 32. Said NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer: "It was either allegedly non-human urine or urine from a dead human being." Randleman admitted that he submitted a fake sample because of the large amounts of painkillers and antibiotics he was taking at the time due to a lung infection. He was suspended from competition for one year. – Josh Burkman, who was scheduled to compete on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter until he tested positive for Stanozolol in a drug screening administered before the show. Burkman received no punishment, and was allowed to be a cast-member onÂ TUF's second season. – Jason Reinhardt, who admitted to using steroids for the majority of his career in a forum thread on mixedmartialarts.com. Fun fact: Of the aforementioned fighters who were accused of steroid use after fights, 14 were successful in those fights, while 21 were unsuccessful. So, the jury's still out in that whole "competitive advantage" thing… Steroid busts by year: '02: 1 '03: 1 '04: 1 '05: 1 '06: 4 '07: 14 (!) '08: 5 '09: 4 '10: 2 '11: 2 '12: 3 Steroid busts by commission: NSAC: 12 CSAC: 23 UFC's independent testing: 3 http://www.cagepotato.com/mma-steroid-busts-definitive-timeline/