Remember the story heading into UFC 89 about how Chris Leben had matured and kicked the booze and turned his life around? Forget that, because his life has just turned back around with the word today that Leben tested positive for steroids after his bout with Michael Bisping in England last month.
Leben popped positive for Stanozolol and has been suspended for nine months by the UFC and fined one-third of his fight purse. To make things worse, there’s not even any athletic commission-mandated testing in England, so it was the UFC’s own internal testing system that caught him. At least Leben isn’t playing innocent. He apparently admitted using the drug, but told Dana White he thought it would be out of his system in time for the test. So, you know, that makes it okay, right?
Leben’s official mea culpa:
“I’ve really done everything I can to turn my life around,” said Leben.
“And this is a huge setback for me. But it’s something I will have to deal with. 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 my fans.”
Jesus, he’s already doing the ‘I want to talk to kids’ thing? The fight was just a few weeks ago. What idiot publicist fed him that painfully transparent line? Just for perspective on this, let’s recap Leben’s recent career decisions:
- His struggles with booze lead to a DUI arrest in Oregon.
- He moves to Hawaii to become the coach at Icon Sport, violating his parole in the process.
- He accepts a fight with Michael Bisping, but can’t travel to England due to the parole violation charge.
- He spends a couple weeks in jail, chokes out a fellow inmate.
- He gets another shot at Bisping and gets nabbed for steroid use after losing a decision.
Yeah, that about sums it all up. Now I just have to ask, why does Leben still have a job with the UFC? This is the company that has fired guys for making dumb comments to the press. As much as I want to see Leben make something of himself, probably because he appeals to the ne’er-do-well in all of us, this is a man who seems to be constantly finding new ways to sabotage himself.
I also have to question why, of all people, Leben would use steroids. He’s never been a fighter who relies on his explosive athletic ability. He’s a tough guy who can take a lot of punches. It’s not like steroids make your head harder, and he already had knockout power. Did he think that looking ripped at the weigh-in was the missing piece of the puzzle? Or perhaps he just thought this was one way of screwing up his life that he hadn’t tried yet and, what the hell, he wanted to give it a shot.
Props to the UFC for running their own testing program, even when they don’t have to. Anti-props to Leben for proving why it’s necessary.