(Leben might need to pray that MMA fans and the UFC don’t turn their backs on him in the next year while he serves his latest suspension. Ask Karo Parisyan.)
Anyone who says that the UFC isn’t policing its own athletes when it comes to drug use needs to talk to Chris Leben.
The troubled UFC middleweight, who blamed a massive weight cut on his sluggish performance, tested positive for Oxymorphone and Oxycodone in tests administered by the promotion following his UFC 138 loss on November 5 to Mark Munoz. As a result, he has been suspended by Zuffa for a year.
For those keeping track, this is the second time “The Crippler” has been popped for pissing dirty by the UFC. The first time was after his UFC 89 decision loss to Michael back in October 2008 when he tested positive for Stanozolol. Between these incidents, he also got picked up for DUI for the second time in October 2010, which clearly reveals a pattern of someone who needs help for a substance abuse problem or someone who really needs a hobby during the winter months.
At any rate, Leben’s boss, UFC president Dana White issued the following statement on the TUF 1 vet’s current lapse of judgment via UFC.com:
“I like Chris and I want him to do well, but based on his actions, he’s been suspended for one year,” White said. “If he needs professional help, we are going to be there for him. We want to see him succeed not only in the Octagon, but in his personal life.”
Leben issued a statement of his own, accepting responsibility for his mistake and pledging to do better for the sport, his fans, his family, his friends and his employer.
“I would like to make it known that I fully accept this suspension and apologize for embarrassing the UFC, my friends and family, and sport of mixed martial arts,” Leben said. “I’m learning that I’m my own worst enemy sometimes. I can’t succeed in the Octagon or in life behaving this way. I’ve got to make some real changes over the next year and I’m going to focus on getting my life and career back on track. Again, I’m sorry to the UFC and fans that’ve supported me since my days on The Ultimate Fighter.”
According to the UFC each of the remaining 19 fighters on the card all passed their drug tests.