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On This Day in MMA History: Carina Damm, The Amelia Earhart of WMMA Steroid Busts

“On This Day in MMA History” pays tribute to some of the more bizarre and infamous news stories of MMA’s past. The following article was originally published on May 15th, 2008, five years ago today.

Carina Damm Proves That Steroid Controversies Aren’t Just For Men Anymore

It’s almost always a good thing to be the first woman to do something. That’s because usually, if a woman hasn’t done that thing yet, it means that it’s either really hard or men have been real jerks about it and kept women out like ten-year-olds with a clubhouse. Well, Brazilian Carina Damm just etched her name in the record books by becoming the first female MMA figher to test positive for steroids. That is not the clubhouse you want to be hanging out in. Not unless you love powerlifting and back acne.

Sherdog reported today that Damm tested positive for Nandrolone (that’s right, the same thing Sean Sherk tested positive for) after her April 3 victory over Sophie Bagherdai at Femme Fatale Fighting 4 in Los Angeles. This news comes at a particularly bad time for Damm, since she was recently signed to take on Debi Purcell on an Elite XC card on June 27. Purcell seemed annoyed, though not surprised by the news.

“It was obvious she was doing it [steroids], but I was just going to out-cardio and out-muscle her anyways. I’ve been lifting for my whole life, everyday for I don’t know how many years. People have accused me of doing steroids because I have muscles, which isn’t fair. But you can’t go have a normal body and two months later be huge.”

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Lavar Johnson’s Post-UFC 157 Drug Test Comes Back Positive for Elevated Testosterone


(Image via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

UFC heavyweight Lavar Johnson — who directly inspired our “Will You Be Fired…” flowchart by not getting fired following his UFC 157 loss to Brendan Schaub — caught a bit of bad news yesterday. The California State Athletic Commission revealed (via MMAJunkie) that Johnson’s post-fight drug test at the February 23rd event was flagged for elevated levels of testosterone. A follow-up carbon isotope ratio test “confirmed the testosterone was consistent with the administration of a steroid.”

No word yet on what that steroid was specifically or how high his T-levels were, but damn Lavar, you in troubllllllle. A suspension and fine are likely imminent, and the failed test could eliminate the good-will that Johnson has built up with his employers by always coming to bang.

It’s also noteworthy that Johnson’s drug test involved a carbon isotope ratio test, which “examines the atomic make-up of testosterone in the urine to determine if it is natural or synthetic.” The UFC has drawn some criticism in the past for not using this effective method of catching cheaters. Is the promotion about to get tougher in its anti-doping efforts? And could this be related to Dana White’s recent vow to “test the [expletive]” out of TRT abusers? We’ll update you when we know more…

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Nick Diaz: GSP is on Steroids, The UFC is Covering it Up/Wants Me to Lose, & I May or May Not Pass My Drug Test Saturday


(No Wolf Tickets)

Nick Diaz put on a wonderful show at yesterday’s UFC 158 pre-event press conference. He called Georges St. Pierre a whiny, phony, ‘roided up point-fighter but then basically shrugged his shoulders when asked if he would pass his own drug test Saturday.

In case he was too vague in his accusations of St. Pierre, Diaz clarified and expanded while on the Tim and Sid radio show shortly after the presser. In addition to his allegations of St. Pierre, Diaz decided to throw his employer under the bus as well.

It all started with Nick saying that he believes the UFC wants him to lose to St. Pierre Saturday night. “I would imagine that they do,” he laughed.

As for St. Pierre, Diaz confirmed that the champion was indeed the strong steroids guy that he alluded to during the presser. “I believe that he’s on plenty of steroids,” Diaz casually said before implicating Canadian and UFC officials.

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Thiago Silva and Rafael Cavalcante to Collide at UFC 162, Result to Be Overturned to a “No Contest” Shortly Thereafter


(Seen here: Something Thiago Silva has not been able to honestly do since 2009.) 

If you thought Matt Riddle was just blowing smoke up our asses when he criticized the subjectivity of the UFC’s hiring/firing policy on The MMA Hour a couple days ago, look no further than Thiago Silva for proof that he wasn’t. The Brazilian slugger has not only failed two drug tests in his past three bouts, once for using synthetic animal urine in an attempt to fool his post-fight test at UFC 125 and once for marijuana metabolites at UFC on FUEL 6 last November, but has gone 0-2 in the bouts he actually managed to show up clean for. Combine that with the fact that he nearly costs as much to show as that “super fucking expensive” Jon Fitch and you’ll be left wondering how someone so incompetent still holds a job in the sport’s highest promotion. Our guess: DW and friends really appreciate the fact that — on the off-chance Silva isn’t trying to cheat the system or cheapen the value of a win — the dude brings it. 

Whatever the case, Silva will be given what we can only assume is his final, final chance at UFC 162, where he will meet fellow piss test savant Rafael Cavalcante.

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Prepare for War: Dana White Says Josh Barnett is “Probably” Headed Back to the UFC


(“Why yes, Dana, the blonde gentleman in the lower left *is* my doctor. What of it?”)

The Sam and Diane relationship between Josh Barnett and the UFC continues to forge ahead, Potato Nation. Fortunately, we have more than an outdated UFC.com profile to go with this time. During the media scrum following the UFC 158 press conference earlier today, Dana White was questioned by MMAMania about the likelihood of seeing “The Warmaster” back in the octagon, and the UFC President was surprisingly optimistic:

I have not (spoken with Barnett). It’s probably going to happen.

There you have it; absolute and undeniable proof that Barnett is back, baby. And here you thought we were just tugging your respective dicks this whole time. Shame on you.

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CagePotato Ban: Blaming a Failed Drug Test on an Over-the-Counter Supplement


Sheesh, Randy and Chuck have really been hitting the Centrum Silver since they retired, huh?

Ever since the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed in 1994, athletes have been aware that there may be more than just protein in the tubs of powder and bottles of pills found in their local grocery stores. The supplement industry isn’t exactly known for its history of ethical practices, and the deregulation of it has unsurprisingly caused manufacturers to push the limits of what can be snuck into their products. It’s widely been accepted that any supplement one purchases — be it the pre-workout stimulant that a personal trainer recommended or the “hardcore” testosterone booster that the local meathead swears is responsible for his 300+ pound frame — can result in a failed drug test, and that any athlete who uses supplements does so at his or her own risk.

Yet if you’ve followed this sport — or any sport, for that matter — for at least one week, you’re already sick of what’s been dubbed The Tainted Supplements Defense. You know the story by heart, and can recite it word-for-word before the athlete even issues a statement on the failed test: An athlete gets busted with a banned substance in his or her system, claims that an over-the-counter product is responsible for the failed drug test, swears that he or she would never resort to taking steroids, wishes that he or she never took the supplements before the fight and promises that it will never happen again. It’s just likely enough to be true, yet just unfalsifiable enough for a reasonable fan to reject.

Which is just one of many reasons why I am cordially inviting anyone blaming a failed drug test on an over-the-counter supplement to fucking stop doing so from this point forward. No matter what variation of the excuse you’re using, your excuse is bad, and you should feel bad. Let’s start off with the most popular variation:

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Ed Herman Believes Jake Shields Tested Positive For Banned Performance Enhancing Drugs


(“Yeah, well you tested positive for gingervitis, so suck it.” Props: Tracy Lee/Cagewriter)

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.

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CagePotato Presents: The James Irvin ‘Why Me?’ Timeline [INFOGRAPHIC]

In addition to being one of the least decision-prone fighters to ever grace the OctagonJames Irvin is also notorious for being the unluckiest bastard in the history of the sport. From poorly-timed injuries and ill-advised weight cuts to chemical misadventures and freak accidents, the Sandman has suffered through enough hardships to fill the careers of ten journeymen. So with the help of our friends at Havoc Store, we put together an illustrated timeline of the most unfortunate moments in Irvin’s MMA career, which you can check out after the jump.

Enjoy, share it with your friends, and show some love to Havoc Store by visiting their blog or following them on Facebook. And James? You have our sympathy, dude.

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Cris Cyborg’s Doctor Declares Her Unfit to Drop to 135, Ronda Rousey’s Manager Calls Bullshit


(Cris Cyborg: The Madonna of MMA. / Photo via Strikeforce)

With women’s 135-pound champion Ronda Rousey and former 145-pound champ Cris Cyborg still split on which weight they would meet at for their fantasyland matchup, Cyborg has pulled the old “doctor’s note” move. Members of the Cyborg camp told MMAWeekly yesterday that the dynamic Brazilian striker — who is still serving out her one-year steroid suspension — met with her doctors recently, and was informed that a cut to 135 pounds wouldn’t be safe:

Her cardiologist stated emphatically that he would not sign off on a move down a weight class based on her current health. The dangers to her body could also prohibit Santos from carrying a child later in life, and according to her camp, that was a risk the former Strikeforce champion was unwilling to make for any fight. Santos’ walking around weight currently hovers around 160lbs and the 25lb cut would just be too much for her body according to her doctors.

I mean…Cyborg looks like she could probably cut 10 pounds in excess back-muscle alone, but hey, I’m no doctor — I’m only a humble Female Body Inspector. In response, Rousey’s manager Darin Harvey pointed out the obvious:

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Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson Pass Their Random NSAC Drug Tests


(“All natural, bro. No steroids. No testosterone. I’ve never hired a nutritionist. I’ve never bought hair conditioner. I ate my dog‘s food once, but it was an accident.” Photo via MMAWeekly)

Unlike some people we know, UFC heavyweights Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson are training without the help of performance-enhancing drugs. According to Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer (via MMAMania), Carwin and Nelson have both tested negative for steroids and diuretics, after being tapped for random testing last month.

Currently babysitting the worst Ultimate Fighter cast of all time, Carwin and Nelson are slated to face off at the surprisingly stacked TUF 16 Finale card on December 15th. Neither fighter has ever failed a drug test in their professional MMA career, though Carwin’s name was previously linked to an illegal steroids ring based in Mobile, Alabama. His manager, Jason Genet, recently gave a full explanation of how that happened, which seems reasonable enough, although that part about Carwin hanging out with Ron Waterman and ripping phone books in half is a little odd, to say the least.

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