I haven’t been able to get an audio confirm myself yet, but various listeners of Sherdog Radio (and fans who bumped into Paul Buentello) are passing along the word that Aleksander Emelianko’s mysterious pull from Saturday’s Affliction: Banned event may be due to a positive test for Hepatitis B.
In its acute form, the viral liver disease can be treated and will leave a person’s system within two months. In some cases the disease turns chronic and the person remains infected, running the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. No word yet on Emelianenko’s exact condition, though as long as he carries the virus he’ll be unable to fight in the United States, which means this could potentially be a career-ender. His last two professional fights — in July and October of 2007 — were held in Canada, which also requires blood tests for fighters, suggesting that Emelianenko acquired the disease relatively recently. Says Wikipedia:
Transmission results from exposure to infectious blood or body fluids containing blood. Possible forms of transmission include (but are not limited to) unprotected sexual contact, blood transfusions, re-use of contaminated needles & syringes [Ed. note: extensive tattooing with prison buddies?], and vertical transmission from mother to child during childbirth.
We’ll update you when we know more.