(Photo courtesy of Heavy.com)
Alistair Overeem has finally broken his silence on his failed drug screening earlier this month. Here’s what the UFC heavyweight contender had to say in a release distributed this morning by Authentic Sports Management:
“To my friends and fans,
I am deeply saddened to announce that on Friday, April 20, I respectfully withdrew from the May 26 event so that I can request a continuance until my situation with the Nevada State Athletic Commission is resolved.
I cannot express how sorry I am to the Commission, Junior Dos Santos, the fans, the owners and employees of the UFC, my friends and family and anyone else who this has affected.
I absolutely do not believe in, nor do I use performance-enhancing drugs. I am a clean fighter and I will do whatever it takes to prove this to everyone.
Prior to the UFC 146 press conference in March, I aggravated an old rib injury on my left side. My doctor prescribed, and I accepted, an anti-inflammatory medication that was mixed with testosterone. I was completely unaware that testosterone was one of the ingredients in the medication. Although I was unaware, I do realize it is my job to know what I am putting into my body.
I respect the Nevada Commissioners and Executive Director Keith Kizer and what they are doing to keep the sport of mixed martial arts regulated and safe for athletes. I look forward to working with them in the days and weeks ahead.
Friends and fans, I ask for your patience as I work through this matter. Please support me. I promise to return to the Octagon soon.”
Alistair Overeem joins a long line of MMA fighters who have claimed ignorance for ingesting banned substances (see also: Cris Cyborg). Do you buy his story? And will it earn him any sympathy with the NSAC?