The Strikeforce women’s 145 pound champion and the woman largely considered the most dominant female fighting machine on the planet was stripped of her title Friday after the California State Athletic Commission announced Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos had failed a Dec. 17 post-fight drug test following her first round knockout of Hiroko Yamanaka in San Diego.
Today, in her first response since the announcement, Cyborg gave an exclusive statement to MMAPrime.TV:
Cris would like to sincerely apologize to StrikeForce, the Zuffa organization, Hioko Yamanaka and her fans for her failed drug test.
“I am ultimately responsible for everything I put in my body, and at the end of the day, there is no excuse for having a prohibited substance in my system. I do not condone the use of any performance enhancing drugs by myself or any other professional athlete, and willingly accept the penalties and fines that have been handed down to me by the California State Athletic Commission and those of the StrikeForce/Zuffa organization.”
“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.“
Cris Santos – Curitiba, Brazil January 7th, 2012
UPDATE: Also, ProMMAnow.com spoke with Cyborg teammate and Strikeforce vet Joe Duarte on Friday about his thoughts on the situation:
“My team is like my family. Irregardless of the choices each teammate makes outside of practice we are still a family. She made a bad decision and will have to live with the consequences. I do not condone the decision she made but will be there as a friend during this difficult time.”