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.”
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