Lyoto Machida
Lyoto Machida

Lyoto Machida spoke on  Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour about USADA. He who admitted to the use of a banned substance in April but said his punishment was “unfair” and “unreasonable.” His claim? He wasn’t educated in enough time by USADA about what was legal and their guidelines.

WTF… You’re a pro man. Here’s some of what he said:

When the UFC brought USADA in, I thought it was to instruct and educate all the fighters. But instead they came in to punish in a very unreasonable fashion.

I want to say that I’m very disappointed in USADA. I think it is all extremely unfair. I take the blame for taking 7-keto. I …It was a banned substance, since I bought it over the counter at a supplement store, when it stated on its label 60 vegetarian capsules.

Machida said he truly believed USADA would reduce the suspension because he complied freely with their investigation.

For me, USADA didn’t give us proper instruction, and I think they failed in giving us an education about everything. So, they only sent me a proper list of banned supplements after they decided on my suspension, so they sent me maybe two-to-three days later, they sent me the list of the supplements so I could understand everything. But before it was where it was supposed to be, it didn’t happen.

USADA spokesperson Ryan Madden responded to all of this to MMAFighting.

The short version is that the whole situation would have been avoided if Mr. Machida had simply used the resources made available to him to ensure that his use of a product -€” called 7-Keto -€”  was permitted under the UFC Anti-Doping Program.

It would have been really easy, all he has to do was visit -€” a resource that all athletes receive education on -€” and search for 7-keto. He also could have reached out to us directly. Either way, within minutes, he would have been able to determine that this product was not safe to use under the Program.

The longer version is that every time athletes are tested by USADA, they are asked to declare any supplements or other products they may be taking. On April 8th, Mr. Machida, after having been notified of a test, declared a product called 7-Keto on his doping control form. These forms are then reviewed by in-house experts.

So after reviewing his form, we reached out to Mr. Machida within a week -€” April 13th, I believe -€” asking him to provide some additional information on the 7-Keto he declared. That same day, he confirmed his declaration of 7-keto was in reference to a product called 7-KETO, containing 7-keto-DHEA. Under the rules, it constituted a clear anti-doping policy violation and he was formally charged on April 14th.

You asked about his sample; it was analyzed by the WADA-accredited laboratory at UCLA, and showed extremely elevated levels of DHEA consistent with someone who was taking 7-keto. As is within his rights, he then asked for his b-sample to be tested, which we did and that too came back with elevated levels. It’s probably also worth noting that those levels were not just slightly elevated, but more than 15x higher than what we would expect to see from an individual who was not using this particular prohibited substance.

He never disputed the violation, so the only remaining issue to determine was the appropriate sanction. In June, he then exercised his right to have that determination made by an independent arbitrator; however, on the eve of arbitration, he accepted the 18-month sanction that was being offered.

Read Madden’s full report at MMA Fighting.

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