The former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos regarded as a fun living guy without a lot of issues with anyone. But when United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) handed him a suspension on Aug. 18, 2017, everything came crumbling down.
Santos tested positive for a banned substance diuretic on Aug. 10, which carries a potential one-year suspension under the UFC’s anti-doping program. Later USADA concluded their investigation deemed that dos Santos took contaminated supplements that led to the failed tests. USADA reduced the sanction and make him eligible to fight again.
Dos Santos was supposed to face Francis Ngannou at UFC 215 back in September, but the promotion forced to pull him from the event due to the failed test. Santos went on to fight for the title against Stipe Miocic at UFC 211, unfortunately, fell via first-round TKO last year.
He still considered one of the top UFC heavyweight challengers in the division, and he holds notable wins over the likes of Mark Hunt, UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic, and Ben Rothwell.
Dos Santos is expected to face former WSOF champ Blagoy Ivanov in the main event of UFC Fight Night 133 on July 14th, but he’s still feeling scared of USADA as they took a long time to prove his innocence. He recently spoke with MMAFighting on this issue:
”In my mind, they would quickly see that I had no fault and would clear me to fight again pretty quickly, especially because of how much of the diuretic they found, not even a performance-enhancing drug, and it being hydrochlorothiazide, a cheap and inefficient diuretic,” he said. “If I wanted to hide something, I would have taken something way worse.”
“I have a fight now, and every time [USADA] comes, I try to show them everything I’m taking. I show everything, because I’m kind of afraid. I don’t know. It happened once when I did nothing. God forbid it happens again, so I get scared. That bothers me a lot.”
”I actually tried to stop using supplements, but it’s absurd,” he continued. “It’s impossible. We need this. If you say an athlete doesn’t need supplementation, that he can get everything through food, you’re wrong. I don’t know about other sports, but our sport is extremely hard, it’s extremely tough. You can’t train twice a day, tough training sessions that are devastating for your body. … Especially for a guy like me, a heavyweight, because it takes longer for your body to recover. It takes longer for your body to absorb all the [punishment]. It’s not simple. You can’t just not use supplements.”
If you remember, Josh Barnett faced the similar case to arbitration and won. Sometimes the process takes so long regardless of your innocence that you sit on the shelf for years.