Chris Leben. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has suspended middleweight Chris Leben after the former “Ultimate Fighter” cast member tested positive for the anabolic agent Stanozolol following his recent unanimous decision loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 89 on October 18.
Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports was the first to report the news this afternoon and the UFC sent out a press release to the media shortly after. Leben becomes the first fighter to be suspended by the UFC since they began independent drug testing for their international events that take place overseas without the help of an athletic commission.
“I am obviously disappointed with Chris, who has made great strides getting his life back on track,” UFC President Dana White said in today’s press release. “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.”
Leben has been suspended for nine months and must forfeit one-third of his fight purse, which will remain an undisclosed total since the UFC does not announce any of their financial numbers regarding events. The rest of the fighters tested following UFC 89 all passed their respective tests.
“I’ve really done everything I can to turn my life around, and this is a huge setback for me, but it is something I will have to deal with,” Leben said. “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 of my fans. I apologize to the UFC and everyone who supported me in my fight in England. I hope to work through this and get back to fighting soon.”
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