Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos was on his way home after another training session at American Top Team when he learned, through a phone call from his lawyer, that he had tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic banned by USADA.
Once he heard the news, he was devastated, as he told Combate.
“Until I got home, I thought it was a prank, I couldn’t believe it,” dos Santos said. “I talked to my wife and she told me USADA had notified me. I said ‘For the love of God, it can’t be possible. What could I test positive for?’ I called up the UFC people the following day and they told me it was a diuretic. It was such a small amount of it, it couldn’t even act as a diuretic in my system. It even took me a while to urinate on the day I had to take the test, so it wasn’t acting as a diuretic that day.
“But they found it and the rule is the same for everyone. Not matter how little of it they found. This certainly shows that there was a contamination. They had nothing else to do but to notify me and pull me out of the fight.”
Junior dos Santos was removed from his UFC 215 fight against Francis Ngannou 22 days prior to the event, but he’s still pro-USADA and wants MMA to be a cleaner sport, although he still doesn’t know where the substance he tested positive for came from.
“At first I was devastated,” dos Santos said. “I’ve been in favor of USADA, I’ve always said how much I support it, how much I want a drugless sport, a fair sport. I’ve always been clean, so my mind is at ease. Everything is under investigation, now, but that’s another problem, because I have no idea where this came from and it’s up to me to prove my innocence and that’s kind of weird. At first I used to think ‘Why is USADA there? For cheaters or for the ones who play by the rules end up as victims?’ I’m obviously a victim of a situation that I don’t what it is.
“I’m getting major support from USADA and from the UFC in my search for answers. This not knowing is absurd, it eats you up inside, it’s like tearing your soul apart. I’ve always been very vocal about all this, but now the only thing I ask myself is if USADA is there for cheaters or for innocent people who end up in this situation.”