Steroids in MMA
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Michinori Tanaka Tests Positive for Stimulants Following Loss at UFC Fight Night 52, Catches Nine-Month Suspension


(As if that hair didn’t bring enough shame onto his family. / Photo via Taro Irei, Sherdog)

Michinori Tanaka” is a name that should bring confused looks to all but the most hardcore of MMA fans. A two-fight veteran of UFC Fight Pass, the 24-year-old Japanese prospect suffered the first defeat of his career back in September, when he lost a split-decision to Kyung Ho Kang on the Hunt vs. Nelson prelims. Unfortunately, Tanaka was jacked up on stimulants (or maybe allergy medicine?) during that fight and now he’s been suspended. From an official statement on UFC.com:

At UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Nelson on September 20 in Saitama, Japan, UFC contracted with an independent drug testing laboratory to perform testing on all fighters on the card.

UFC bantamweight Michinori Tanaka tested positive for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine based on a pre-fight urine test administered prior to the event. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are stimulants banned in athletic competition pursuant to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code. Based on such results, UFC officials decided that Tanaka had violated his promotional agreement and the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy. Accepting the accuracy of the test result, Tanaka has admitted to taking over-the-counter allergy medication prior to the fight, likely causing the positive result, and acknowledges the illegal substances were in his system. Consequently, Tanaka agreed to a nine-month suspension from unarmed combat competition. He must pass a drug test at the conclusion of his suspension in order to return to competition. Tanaka will also forfeit his Fight of the Night bonus he earned at the event. [Ed. note: Zyrtec just cost this dude $50,000. Ouch.]

The UFC organization has always been a leader when it comes to testing for performance-enhancing drugs in combat sports. All UFC athletes know they are subject to drug testing by an applicable state athletic commission, an international governing federation, or by an independent laboratory contracted by the UFC when no regulatory body is overseeing the event. In those cases where regulatory oversight is unavailable, UFC voluntarily chooses to adhere to the highest level of athlete health and safety protocols similar to if the event were being held in the state of Nevada.

Nine months without Michinori Tanaka? Will MMA even survive?

Related: ‘UFC on FUEL 8? Drug Tests Nail Alex Caceres (Marijuana) and Riki Fukuda (Stimulants)

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