When Jake Shields tested positive for having a banned substance in his system during his UFC 150 fight against Ed Herman last August, we assumed that the no-no substance was of the weed variety. Given some of his training partners and friends, it made perfect sense.
Here’s the thing: The sanctioning body of that fight, the Colorado Boxing Commission, never specified which banned substance Shields tested positive for. But Herman, who Shields beat by decision before the fight was changed to a No Contest, isn’t buying the marijuana story.
“I think Colorado is one of the HIPAA privacy states where they weren’t allowed to release what he tested positive for. I’m pretty sure it was for some type of performance enhancing substance, just by looking at his physique going in to the fight,” Herman told Bloody Elbow recently.
A lil Mary Jane to relax before fighting another trained professional is one thing, according to Herman, because, you know, all the cool kids do it. But “Short Fuse” is coming right out and accusing Shields of being more ‘roid monkey than stoner kid in an apparent effort to discredit him.
“He looked pretty puffed up and exhibited the common signs. As an athlete, you can recognize those signs. I can’t guarantee it, but I’m pretty positive that it was for some kind of performance enhancing drug. If it really was for marijuana, it’s a lot easier for a guy to come right out and say, ‘I smoked a joint, sorry,’” Herman continued to narc.
Though his allegations lack hard evidence, Herman’s lay-logic does strike a common sense chord upon first hearing. If Shields had indeed only tested positive for marijuana, why not just come out and say that, since most fans don’t consider that a performance-enhancement or cheating?
That type of circumstantial vagueness is the stuff of witch trials, though. And besides, this writer isn’t so sure that any top-level fighter should be throwing stones in the banned substance glass house that most of them live in.