UFC middleweight Rousimar Palhares
UFC middleweight Rousimar Palhares

This past Thursday, drug tests from December’s UFC on FX 6 card revealed middleweight submission specialist Rousimar Palhares had testosterone levels of over twice the World Anti-Doping Agency’s permissible limit at the time of his bout against Hector Lombard. The WADA allows fighters a maximum testosterone to epitestosterone ration of 4:1; Palhares’ screening showed a 9:1 ratio. As a result, the Brazilian was handed down a nine month suspension, retroactive to December 14th.

Today, Palhares issued the following statement regarding his failed test:

I’ve always been very careful about my diet and concerned about not ever using anything that could harm my body or my performance in the octagon. And this time was no different, I never meant to cheat. I’ve had nearly 30 fights in my career, a good portion of them in the UFC. I’ve been through numerous surprise tests, and nothing’s ever gone wrong. Furthermore, I knew I was going to be subjected to testing after fighting in Australia because that’s the standard in the UFC. I have a clear conscience but accept the punishment. The rules exist for everyone to follow.

It is important to note that the Nevada State Athletic Commision does allow a testosterone to epitestosterone ratio as high as 6:1; however, because the contest took place on Australia, Palhares found himself well outside the upper limits set forth by the WADA.

Testosterone related suspensions have become more and more common in MMA of late, and the forced nine month lay off could prove to be a major setback for the 32 year old Brazilian, who is 0-2 in his last pair of outings.

Also included in Thursday’s report was heavyweight Joey Beltran, who tested positive for the intramuscular steroid Nandrolone. Beltran has since denied the allegations of PED use tweeting, “I can say without a shadow of a doubt I did not inject Nandrolone into my body […] my team and I will seek the truth.” Beltran too faces a nine month suspension for his failed test.


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