Yesterday it was announced that current UFC lightweight champion Sean “Muscle Shark” Sherk tested positive for nandrolone, an anabolic agent, following his successful title defense at UFC 73: Stacked. Our question to you is, “Should Sean Sherk be stripped of the title?”
In the past we saw heavyweight champions Tim Sylvia and Josh Barnett test positive for anabolic agents and both fighters were stripped of their titles and suspended. Should Sherk get the same treatment?
UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk and his challenger at UFC 73, Hermes Franca have both tested positive for anabolic steroids according to the California State Athletic Commission.
Both Sherk and Franca have been fined $2500 and suspended for one full year. No word yet on whether or not Sherk will stripped of his title by the UFC.
They will have 30 days to send an appeal to the CSAC after which a hearing on the matter will take place if they choose to do so.
Greg Nelson, Sherk’s trainer at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy believes that the positive test is a complete mistake:
“I’m fairly convinced that there’s absolutely been a total mistake here,” said Greg Nelson, Sherk’s trainer. “I have absolutely no recollection of anything of that nature. I know his training and how dedicated he is to eating and doing everything as pure and clean as possible.”
Hermes Franca released a statement earlier today to MMA Weekly stating that a report would be released later today that he tested positive for a banned substance that he willingly took the steroids in order to help heal an injured ankle before the fight.
We will have much more on this story as it develops…
Update 5:23 PM: Some more details on what’s going on…
We originally reported that both Sherk and Franca both tested positive for nandrolone metabolite. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Sherk tested positive for nandrolone while Franca was found to have drostanolone in his system.
Sherk’s suspension will last the length of his current license with the CSAC - 355 days. An additional suspension of 10 days will be added on if Sherk decides to apply for a new CSAC license.
Franca’s suspension will last for the remainder of his current license with the CSAC - 363 days. The CSAC did not state whether or not Franca will have to endure an additional suspension if he chooses to apply for a new license next year.
UFC President Dana White released this statement regarding the matter:
“Our policy on fighters using steroids, illegal drugs or any banned substance remains the same - you cannot use them,” said UFC President Dana White. “It’s not only unhealthy and unsafe, it is against the law. The UFC fully supports the commission’s efforts and we will continue to take measures that keep this sport clean and keep the athletes safe.”
News and Notes:
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Cage Rage has announced three scheduled bouts for it’s upcoming Cage Rage 23: Unbelievable show on September 22. James Zikic will defend his Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Championship against Vitor Belfort. Mark Weir will take on Paul Daley and Joe Mac and Jeremy Bailey will finally go at it.
- The IFL’s Los Angeles Anacondas have announced that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman has been named the team’s official wrestling coach. Anaconda’s head coach Shawn Tompkins has said that Randleman is also currently training with the team in hopes of making a comeback to active competition:
“Kevin Randleman might be making a return to the cage or ring,” says Tompkins. “I like training Kevin. He’s open-minded and we’re exchanging a lot of knowledge.”
- The following fighters have tested negative for drugs of abuse and banned substances following the post-fight tests done after UFC 73 by the CSAC: Mark Bocek, Chris Lytle, Frankie Edgar, Jason Gilliam, Diego Saraiva, Jorge Gurgel, Stephan Bonnar, and Mike Nickels. More test results will be released later this week.
Last week the CSAC executive director Armando Garcia joined MMAWeekly’s SoundOff radio to discuss a wide array of topics including drugs in MMA, medicals, and more.
SoundOff host Damon Martin raised the question about drugs and steroids in MMA and Garcia responded with a very insightful answer.
“I’m very concerned. If I told you anything different it would essentially be a lie. I am very concerned, when you look at the high number of positives it’s really scary and steroids. This commission here which is the biggest commission in the country second only to Japan in the entire world - never did serious drug testing or basically any real drug testing until we started the program. I mean just think about that and that’s the State of California and money runs all of these operations. I went to my department of finance and I went and brought them shows and I explained the situation - we went and established a very detailed process for drug testing and they bought into it.
Now I’m using money from my support fund. That means my regular budget. I don’t have money. If I fine a guy $500 for a positive marijuana test - that money doesn’t go to me, that money goes into a special fund which I cannot touch. So the efforts that our commission is making is we’re cutting corners to do as many drug tests as possible. We did implement a very fair and equitable anti-doping process. But you know what, do I have the money to test everybody for steroids and everybody for drugs of abuse at every show when we had 186 events last year in California? No way.
I’m sending the message out, we’ve drug tested everybody across the board in multiple shows and these are the results. If the results don’t alarm you when we come out with them early next week from March 31st when we started this program to when you get the stats next week. You know what, people are using drugs. People unfortunately are uneducated that drugs will kill you and will greatly damage your quality of life as you get older and it’s cheating. I don’t care how much you candy coat it, it’s cheating. Performance enhancing or not, an athlete who is looked up to by kids should not be using drugs. They need to grow up a little you know?”
The point of recreational drugs was also raised and Garcia said:
“I’ve had several methamphetamine - talk about scary. If you look at it, put steroids out and you say ok what drugs are they abusing? They are abusing street drugs - cocaine, marijuana, pain killers and methamphetamine. These things are greatly damaging to athletes.”
In recent months there have been a slew of positive tests including the likes of:
Royce Gracie - Nandrolone; suspended 1 year.
Phil Baroni - Boldenone and Stanozolol; suspended 1 year.
Bas Rutten - Hydrocodone (painkiller), Morphine (painkiller), and Diphenhydramine (antihistamine); suspended 6 months.
Lodune Sincaid - Marijuana; suspended 3 months.
Cesar Gracie - Marijuana; suspended 3 months.
Ricco Rodriguez - Marijuana, and Cocaine; suspended 6 months.
Diego Sanchez - Marijuana; suspended 3 months.
These are just a few of the many fighters who have failed their drug tests in the past year.
Sherdog.com is reporting that Royce Gracie will not appeal his suspension he received from the California State Athletic Commission for testing positive for a banned anabolic agent.
“I did not appeal the decision because I have been in Spain for the last 1 1/2 (months) on vacation with my family, and for me to appeal, I would have to get a lawyer, and then get some experts to run tests and then get more experts to argue with their experts—or I can just pay $2,500 fine, and sit out for one year,” Gracie said via e-mail Monday. “Well, I fight once a year anyway and it’s much cheaper to pay $2,500 in fine then $10,000 retainer to attorney’s alone. As for my fans, those who believe me, believe me anyway, and those who don’t, does not matter what I do, or what I say, they will not believe anyway.”
Gracie had until July 13th to appeal the suspension but according to the report, the CSAC still had not received a formal appeal “and as a result the $2,500 fine and one-year suspension, which expires May 30, 2008, are final.”
Here are the payouts from UFC 73: Stacked.
Anderson Silva ($90,000) def. Nate Marquardt ($24,000)
Tito Ortiz ($210,000) vs. Rashad Evans ($16,000)
Sean Sherk ($28,000) def. Hermes Franca ($14,000)
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira ($200,000) def. Heath Herring ($70,000)
Kenny Florian ($16,000) def. Alvin Robinson ($3,000)
Stephan Bonnar ($32,000) def. Mike Nickels ($5,000)
Jorge Gurgel ($14,000) def. Diego Saraiva ($3,000)
Chris Lytle ($20,000) def. Jason Gilliam ($3,000)
Frankie Edgar ($10,000) def. Mark Bocek ($3,000)
Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $761,000
News and Notes:
- UFC, PRIDE, and Pancrase veteran Ricardo Almeida will be making a return to MMA competition after a three-year hiatus from the sport. Earlier this week, Cage Fury Fighting Championships announced that they had signed Almeida to fight in their next event in September. MMA Weekly is reporting that Dennis Hallman will most likely be Almeida’s opponent.
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that they are unable to do anything that would prevent Hong Man Choi from taking on Gary Goodridge in the K-1 World Grand Prix on August 5th because they do not have jurisdiction in Asia:
“I got instructions from legal that we don’t have jurisdiction over them in Asia,” said CSAC Executive Director Armando Garcia today during a Fight Network Radio interview. “In other words, if they went over there and had a show there and included Mr. Choi, and then decided to come back, they would not be facing disciplinary action just for that.”
- Phil Baroni has filed a formal appeal with the California State Athletic Commission that will go against the CSAC’s claim that Baroni tested positive for two different types of steroids after his fight with Frank Shamrock last month.
- Kelly Kobold Gavin will replace an injured Laura D’Auguste as Tara LaRosa’s opponent for the first ever BodogFight Women’s Championship bout at next Saturday’s event in Trenton, NJ, BodogFight: Eddie Alvarez vs Matt Lee.
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The California State Athletic Commission has announced that Phil Baroni tested positive for Boldenone Metabolite and Stanozolol Metabolite, two common anabolic steroids, after his loss to Frank Shamrock at EliteXC/Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni.
Middleweight Phil Baroni tested positive for Boldenone and Stanozolol Metabolites, the California State Athletic Commission announced Tuesday afternoon. The 31-year-old from Long Island, New York has been fined $2,500 and suspended 365 days from the conclusion of his loss against Frank Shamrock on June 22 in San Jose. The final 51 days of that suspension will be fulfilled at the start of Baroni’s next licensing year, should he decide to reapply.
Baroni joins Carter Williams, who tested positive for cocaine, as the second fighter to fail their test following the EliteXC/Strikeforce card.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission made headlines on an otherwise slow weekend in terms of MMA and news about the sport.
The NSAC filed a formal complaint within itself against former PRIDE parent company, Dream Stage Entertainment on Friday. The complaint stems from DSE failing to pay television broadcast taxes from the two events they held in the United States in the last year. The NSAC has stated that if the money is not turned over, DSE will have their promotional license revoked.
NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer has stated that even though Zuffa nows owns PRIDE, DSE is still responsible for paying the taxes. Kizer also said that DSE owes the NSAC approximately $60,000 and that attempts to contact them about the matter have been successful.
The NSAC also held an open forum earlier in the week in Las Vegas to field suggestions about any possible rule changes within the sport of MMA. Even though the public forum wasn’t very popular to say the least (only one person attended other than NSAC officials), Kizer has stated that he received a bunch of suggestions via email. The most popular subject was knees to the head of a downed opponent which Kizer says the commission is planning to review.
“First and foremost, we have to make sure that if that [rule] changes in that regard, can it be done safely?” said Kizer. “I don’t see soccer kicks ever being safe by the nature of the move, but knees to the head of a downed opponent – is it that different than elbows or punches to the head of a downed opponent? I don’t know, but it’s something we want to look at.”
The California State Athletic Commission announced today that K-1 veteran Carter Williams tested positive for cocaine following his knockout loss to the hands of Paul Buentello.
“Carter Williams, who last competed for Strikeforce/EliteXC on June 22, 2007 in San Jose, has tested positive for Cocaine. He has been fined $1,000. His suspension began at the conclusion of his bout on June 22, 2007 and will run through December 19, 2007.”