USADA Suspends Lyoto Machida For 18 Months

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Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida was pulled from his scheduled UFC on FOX 19 bout with Dan Henderson in April after he tested positive for a banned substance. USADA announced on Wednesday that Machida has been suspended for 18 months due to an anti-doping violation. His suspension is retroactive to April 8, 2016, so that means that Machida will be eligible to fight again in October 2017.

Machida did declare his usage of a product containing the banned substance 7-keto-dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is a steroid, during that sample collection back in April. Machida also confirmed the use of the product and said he did not know it contained a prohibited drug. Once his sample was tested, it came back with an elevated 7β-hydroxy-DHEA to DHEA ratio. USADA said in a statement that Machida’s admission of the substance and his cooperation in the investigation allowed for the reduction of a two-year suspension to 18 months.

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USADA issued the following:

“During an out-of-competition test conducted on April 8, 2016, Machida, 38, declared the use of a product containing 7‐keto-dehydroepiandrosterone (7‐keto‐DHEA) on his sample collection paperwork. 7‐keto‐DHEA is a prohibited substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the WADA Prohibited List,” USADA officials wrote in the release.

“Upon notice from USADA of his potential violation, Machida immediately confirmed his use of the product, which listed 7-keto-DHEA as an ingredient, and fully cooperated with the subsequent investigation after advising USADA that he did not realize 7-keto-DHEA was a prohibited substance when he used the product.”

“Machida’s sample was analyzed at a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory and reported to USADA for an elevated 7β-hydroxy-DHEA to DHEA ratio, which is consistent with his declared use of a prohibited substance.”

Machida (22-7) has lost his last two bouts (Luke Rockhold at UFC on FOX 15 and Yoel Romero at UFC Fight Night 70). Machida remains one of the most well-respected competitors in the UFC and is surely a future Hall of Fame candidate.