UFC middleweight Chris Leben has tested positive for the steroid Stanozolol, and will be suspended for nine months, as well as fined one-third of his UFC 89 purse. The UFC conducted their own drug tests for the Birmingham, England event, as the country does not have their own Athletic Commission that oversees MMA events. The UFC tested all 22 fighters that competed on the card, Leben was the only one that tested positive. Leben lost in the card’s main event to Michael Bisping in a convincing unanimous decision.
White stated that Leben openly admitted to him before the positive test result that he had used Stanazolol shortly after his win over Alessio Sakara at UFC 82 in March. While most substances clear your system in about four weeks, Stanazolol can show up on drug tests several months after its last usage.
“I am obviously disappointed with Chris, who has made great strides getting his life back on track,” White stated. “To his credit, he has taken responsibility for his actions and is accepting the punishment that has been handed down. But as always, the UFC puts the safety of its athletes first and foremost, and we won’t tolerate anyone using performance enhancing drugs in our organization.”
Even though he lost to Bisping, it seemed as though the volatile fighter had finally turned the corner and stabilized his life and career. He looked solid throughout the bout, and was mature and professional before and after the fight.
Apparently, Leben still has a lot of growing up to do. The good news is that he seems to understand that.
“I’ve really done everything I can to turn my life around,” said Leben.
“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.”
Stanozolol, also known as Winstrol V, is a synthetic anabolic steroid derived from testosterone that is usually prescribed to treat anaemia. It is a popular drug among bodybuilders, however MMA fighters such as former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, MMA veteran Phil Baroni, and Kimo Leopoldo have all tested positive for the drug in the past.