Bad news for…well, everybody, really. The California State Athletic Commission put out a press release earlier today announcing that Strikeforce featherwight champion Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Santos — the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport — has tested positive for an anabolic steroid. As a result, her license has been suspended, and the result of her last win over Hiroko Yamanaka on December 17th will be changed to a no-contest. Here’s the full release via BloodyElbow:
CALIFORNIA STATE ATHLETIC COMMISSION SUSPENDS LICENSE OF FIGHTER CRISTIANE JUSTINO SANTOS – a.k.a. CRIS CYBORG
Mixed Martial Arts fighter tested positive for anabolic steroid in December 16, 2011 test
The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has suspended the license of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Cristiane Justino Santos, better known in MMA circles as Cris Cyborg, and has fined her $2,500 as the result of a positive test for a banned substance.
Santos’ December 16, 2011 drug test came back positive for stanozolol metabolites. CSAC learned of the test results December 23, 2011 and suspended Santos’s license, with the suspension applied retroactively to December 16, 2011. In accordance with Rule 368, the result of her last fight between Hiroko Yamanaka will be changed to a “No Decision”.
“Our primary concern is for the health and safety of fighters,” said CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd. “Anabolic agents and other banned substances put not only the users of those agents at risk, but their opponents as well. The commission simply will not tolerate their use.”
The use of certain substances, including anabolic steroids, is prohibited under the Commission’s regulations, and CSAC has among the toughest drug testing standards of any Athletic Commission in the country. It is the only commission that requires urine samples to be taken in the presence of a commission representative prior to a bout.
Santos’s provision of a urine sample was observed by a CSAC representative and the sample was sent to the World Anti-doping Agency test facility at the University of California, Los Angeles. Santos has the right to appeal the suspension of her license.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker responded with the following official statement:
“Strikeforce has not seen the test results regarding Ms. Santos. However, we have a consistent and strong stance against any use of performance-enhancing drugs. We also have a long history of supporting effective drug testing of athletes by authorized regulatory bodies. Therefore, we will closely monitor the matter and will work with the California State Athletic Commission regarding any information we may be asked to provide. We also recognize that Ms. Santos has administrative process rights under California law and we hope that she is not prejudged before she has the opportunity to exercise such rights.”
UFC president Dana White added on ESPN radio that Santos’s positive drug test will cost her the Strikeforce featherweight title, and will effectively lead to the end of the women’s 145-pound division:
“We were going to hold that division and just do fights with ‘Cyborg’ whenever there was a new contender,” White told ESPN Radio on Friday. “She’s getting stripped of the title. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”
What a massive blow to women’s MMA, and the legacy of a fearsome fighter. We expect Santos to appeal the suspension — because that’s what fighters do — and we’ve been told that we’ll be getting a statement from her camp shortly.