A quick look at all USADA banned UFC fighters since 2016 – Reveals Bellator’s problem.

A curious footnote to the Bellator Birmingham event in the UK on May 4th last crossed my path this evening. A Bellator in-competition drug test from the event of a little known, journey-man MMA fighter called Falco Neto came back positive. Mr Neto tested positive for the metabolites of steroids methyltestosterone and nandrolone. Thankfully his opponent Fabian Edwards did us all a favor and knocked him the fuck out.

Neto received the princely sanction of a 6 month ban for the above combination of violations. To put it another way if Neto was a UFC fighter and subject to the rules of USADA ( The United States Anti-doping agency) he would be teetering somewhere between a 2 year and possibly even a 4 year ban.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on the science of performance enhancing drugs or the science of  PED testing but the fact that Bellator have virtually no out of competition drug testing of any kind allied to the fact that this ban is a little on the light side is going to prevent the organisation moving to the next level as a global combat sports franchise.

When they hand down such a ludicrously benign sanction as the one in this Neto case – 6 months – well it is very hard to make any case that they are serious about drug testing or preventing performance enhancing drugs. And to me that says they do not care about fighter safety and the duty of care they have to clean athletes.

Now who, you might ask, carries out their in competition drug testing?

Is it a USADA?

Is it a WADA?

No. It’s a curious collection of people called The Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation that regulates and sanctions many of Bellator’s overseas events including the one on May 4th in Birmingham. It all sounds a little too Harry Potteresque for my liking.

A little background on the Mohegan Tribe is provided below. It is essentially an Indian tribal state in the great state of Connecticut in the United States.

And if your thinking Indian Tribal State = Gambling Income

Well congratulations in this instance you would be correct.

How this Indian tribal state is in the business of Athletic commissions, holding Bellator events, sanctioning fights, drug-testing and issuing bans – I have no idea. I raise the point merely to emphasize the fact that in addition to having no out of competition drug testing, Bellator’s in competition drug testing is probably not gold standard.

Sincerely, I am not here to bash Bellator. I would dearly love to see them provide stiff competition to the UFC on all fronts; from fighter salary, media exposure and fighter talent to name but a few. But they must also start competing with them on how seriously they take drug testing for performance enhancing drugs. How seriously they take fighter safety.

Bellator need to address their testing issues immediately and that starts with employing either USADA or WADA as the official body responsible for testing in and out of competition. The UFC finally bit the bullet a few years ago and signed up with USADA. They came to the table late and reluctantly and it has not been smooth sailing; we frequently hear Dana White bitching and moaning about how much stringent drug testing is cost the UFC. But at the end of the day THEY ARE DOING IT and we are starting to see results.

The UFC systems are not yet perfect as many of you will have noticed in the cases of Jon Jones and Tj Dillashaw. But athletes are now consistently getting caught and cheating is becoming a dangerous and costly business. USADA in most instance are issuing appropriate bans. In the most recent high profile case TJ Dillashaw immediately got a two year ban. End of Story.

I have published below the full list of MMA fighters banned for PEDs since MMA came under the USADA umbrella. Isn’t it time Bellator added a few to the list.

I have started with the most recent and worked my way back to 2016. There are plenty of familiar names besides Jon Jones!

Athletes Sanctioned by USADA since 2016

 

Athlete Sport Drug Sanction
Ribas, Amanda Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 2-Year Suspension – Sanction Reduced
Costa, Carlos Mixed Martial Arts Non-Analytical: Possession and Administration 6-Month Suspension
Costa, Paulo Mixed Martial Arts Non-Analytical: Intravenous Infusion 6-Month Suspension
Montano, Nicco Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 6-Month Suspension
O’Malley, Sean Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 6-Month Suspension
Vettori, Marvin Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 6-Month Suspension
Mendes, Augusto Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 6-Month Suspension
Harris, Walt Mixed Martial Arts LGD-4033 4-Month Suspension
Taisumov, Mairbek Mixed Martial Arts Stanozolol 6-Month Suspension
Dillashaw, TJ Mixed Martial Arts Recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) 2-Year Suspension
Murzakanov, Azamat Mixed Martial Arts Boldenone 2-Year Suspension
Magomedov, Ruslan Mixed Martial Arts Methyltestosterone; Stanozolol Lifetime Suspension
Murtazaliev, Khalid Mixed Martial Arts Drostanolone 2-Year Suspension
Collier, Jake Mixed Martial Arts Higenamine 10-Month Suspension
Maia, Jennifer Mixed Martial Arts Furosemide; Hydrochlorothiazide; Chlorothiazide; Thiazide metabolite 4-amino-6-chloro-1,3-benzenedisulfonamide (ACB) 6-Month Suspension
Sekulic, Stefan Mixed Martial Arts Drostanolone; Metandienone 2-Year Suspension
Kandare, Bharat Vijay Mixed Martial Arts Boldenone; Tamoxifen 2-Year Suspension
Reyes, Polo Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 6-Month Suspension
Scott, Bradley Mixed Martial Arts Cocaine 2-Year Suspension
Hunter, Adam Mixed Martial Arts Tamoxifen; Boldenone, Methandienone, Drostanolone, and Clenbuterol 2-Year Suspension – Loss of Results – Additional Loss of Results
Jones, Jon Mixed Martial Arts Chlorine-substituted Anabolic Steroid 15-Month Suspension – Loss of Results
Werdum, Fabricio Mixed Martial Arts Trenbolone 2-Year Suspension
Silva, Anderson Mixed Martial Arts Methyltestosterone; Hydrochlorothiazide 1-Year Suspension
Oleksiejczuk, Michał Mixed Martial Arts Clomiphene 1-Year Suspension
Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Mixed Martial Arts Hydrochlorothiazide 6-Month Suspension
Almeida, Junior dos Santos Mixed Martial Arts Hydrochlorothiazide 6-Month Suspension
De Lima, Marcos Rogerio Mixed Martial Arts Anastrozole; Hydrochlorothiazide 6-Month Suspension
Diaz, Nick Mixed Martial Arts Non-Analytical: 3 Whereabouts Failures 1-Year Supension
Rothwell, Ben Mixed Martial Arts Testosterone 2-Year Suspension
Lemos, Amanda Mixed Martial Arts Stanozolol 2-Year Suspension
Barnett, Josh Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine Public Warning
Cutelaba, Ion Mixed Martial Arts Non-Analytical: Blood Transfusion 6-Month Suspension
Calvillo, Cynthia Mixed Martial Arts Cannabinoids 6-Month Suspension
Anyanwu, Azunna Mixed Martial Arts Furosemide 1-Year Suspension
Tukhugov, Zubaira Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 2-Year Suspension
Magomedov, Ruslan Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 2-Year Suspension
Wallhead, Jim Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 9-Month Suspension
de Tomas, Carls John Mixed Martial Arts Furosemide 1-Year Suspension
Mulheron, James Mixed Martial Arts Clomiphene 1-Year Suspension
Rivera, Francisco Mixed Martial Arts Clenbuterol 4-Year Suspension
Penne, Jessica Mixed Martial Arts Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) 18-Month Suspension
Moreno, Brandon Mixed Martial Arts Clenbuterol No Fault or Negligence
Felipe Cabral de Almeida, Carlos Mixed Martial Arts Stanozolol Metabolites 2-Year Suspension
Taylor, Jesse Mixed Martial Arts Clomiphene 1-Year Suspension
Roehrick, Nick Mixed Martial Arts Clomiphene and its metabolite 1-Year Suspension
Cannetti, Guido Mixed Martial Arts Hydrochlorothiazide, Chlorothiazide, Ostarine and Stanozolol Metabolites 10-Month Suspension
Sullivan, George Mixed Martial Arts Clomiphene and its metabolite 1-Year Suspension; Second Violation
Gastelum, Kelvin Mixed Martial Arts Cannabinoids 6-Month Suspension with 3-Month Deferral
Abreu, Ricardo Mixed Martial Arts Androgenic Anabolic Steroid & 19-norandrosterone (19-NA) 4-Year Suspension: Sanction is tolled until athlete returns from retirement. Second Violation.
Mir, Francisco Mixed Martial Arts Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT) 2-Year Suspension
Ledet, Justin Mixed Martial Arts 1-testosterone and 1-androstenedione 4-Month Suspension
Good, Lyman Mixed Martial Arts 1-androstenedione and its metabolite 6-Month Suspension
Nicolau Pereira, Matheus Mixed Martial Arts Anastrozole 1-Year Suspension
Andrade, Viscardi Mixed Martial Arts Stanozolol and its metabolites 2-Year Suspension
Lawlor, Tom Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 2-Year Suspension
Omielanczuk, Daniel Mixed Martial Arts Meldonium No Fault or Negligence
Olivieri, Luis Felipe Mixed Martial Arts Methyltestosterone 2-Year Suspension
Lesnar, Brock Mixed Martial Arts Clomiphene 1-Year Suspension
Ferreira, Carlos Diego Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine and 7-keto-DHEA 17-Month Suspension
Machida, Lyoto Mixed Martial Arts 7?keto?DHEA 18-Month Suspension
Sullivan, George Mixed Martial Arts Non-Analytical: Use (IGF-1) 1-Year Suspension
Jones, Jon Mixed Martial Arts Clomiphene, Letrozole 1-Year Suspension
Edilov, Abdul-Kerim Mixed Martial Arts Meldonium 15 Month Suspension – Loss of Results
Diaz, Nate Mixed Martial Arts Cannabinoids Public Warning
Jingliang, Li Mixed Martial Arts Clenbuterol No Fault or Negligence
Montano, Augusto Mixed Martial Arts Clenbuterol No Fault or Negligence
Guangyou, Ning Mixed Martial Arts Clenbuterol No Fault or Negligence
Abreu, Ricardo Mixed Martial Arts Androgenic Anabolic Steroid & 19-norandrosterone (19-NA) 2-Year Suspension – Loss of Results
Makhachev, Islam Mixed Martial Arts Meldonium No Fault or Negligence
Mendes, Chad Mixed Martial Arts Growth Hormone-Releasing Hexapeptide 2-Year Suspension – Loss of Results
Penn, BJ Mixed Martial Arts Non-Analytical: Use (IV) 6-Month Suspension
Means, Tim Mixed Martial Arts Ostarine 6-Month Suspension – Loss of Results
Brandao, Diego Mixed Martial Arts Cannabinoids 9-Month Suspension – Loss of Results
Romero, Yoel Mixed Martial Arts Ibutamoren 6-Month Suspension
Tibau, Gleison Mixed Martial Arts Erythropoietin (EPO) 2-Year Suspension – Loss of Results
Filipovic, Mirko Mixed Martial Arts Human Growth Hormone (hGH) 2-Year Suspension – Loss of Results
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