If they’re being honest, “King Mo” Lawal and his manager Mike Kogan are completely dumbfounded how Lawal tested positive for the anabolic steroid Drostanolone stemming from his recent bout with Lorenz Larkin at Strikeforce “Rockhold vs. Jardine.”
Speaking to Mauro Ranallo on The Score, Kogan admitted that King Mo received an anti-inflammatory steroid injection from his doctor for a torn ACL several weeks before the bout, but it wasn’t an anabolic steroid like he tested positive for.
“We had some knee problems going into the fight (against Larkin). He had a torn ACL and his knee swelled up three or four weeks before the fight and we had to have it systematically drained,” Kogan said. “He is in surgery right now having his ACL put in (Lawal does not have an ACL).”
“We talked to that doctor if there might have been something he put in that may have caused this, but from his conclusion it doesn’t seem likely. He put in an an anti-inflammatory steroid at the time when he first drained the knee, but since then he hasn’t put anything in,” Kogan said. “But it wasn’t an anabolic steroid so it wasn’t the same. That’s basically where we are right now. We are still trying to figure out this thing out.”
“Lawal was stunned. This guy has been competing since high school and has reached the highest levels of competition in wrestling, including being an Olympic alternate,” Kogan said. “For him it’s always been about a sense of competition. He is very much against cheating. It’s not in his DNA.”
Their first step in attempting to prove King Mo’s innocence is to have the “B” sample tested by a different lab (the “A” sample tested positive), which Kogan says they plan to do. If that sample comes back negative, then they can point to the “A” sample somehow being tainted. If it comes back positive, then it’s certain that Lawal had Drostanolone in his system somehow and proving his innocence becomes exponentially more difficult.
I personally like to see the good in people and give them the benefit of the doubt, but you just never know with steroids these days. Perhaps the doctor screwed up and injected him with the wrong drug, maybe the lab tainted the sample or maybe they’re just flat out lying. I don’t know, but if they are telling the truth, it’s unfortunate because they’re going to have a long uphill battle ahead of them to prove King Mo isn’t a “cheater” if that B sample comes back positive.
On a related note, Zuffa vice-president for regulatory affairs Marc Ratner says they are considering more stringent anti-PED policies such as random testing in addition to the pre-contract policy that Zuffa announced yesterday. He says these policies were under discussion before Cris Cyborg and King Mo tested positive and aren’t a reaction to them.
Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog