Remember how Chris Leben appeared unusually cut for his UFC 89 bout against Michael Bisping (see pic)? Everyone chalked it up to all the positive changes in his life. Yeah, well, there was certainly one change that attributed to Leben looking like he was in the best shape of his life—steroids, Stanazolol to be exact.
The news comes from Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports.
Chris Leben became the first high-profile fighter suspended by the Ultimate Fighting Championships for failing a drug test, when results came back positive on Monday for the steroid Stanazolol in a test administered after his three-round loss to Michael Bisping on Oct. 18 in Birmingham, England.
While fighting in the US, the athletes are subjected to performance-enhancing drug testing administered by the state athletic commissions, however, overseas that’s not the case. The UFC has always claimed they assume the responsibility for testing the fighters when holding events outside the US, however questions always lingered about whether or not they would disclose such information if one of their high-profile stars tested positive. It appears that question has been answered. Here’s Dana White’s thoughts.
“I am obviously disappointed with Chris, who has made great strides getting his life back on track. To his credit, he has taken responsibility for his actions and is accepting the punishment that has been handed down. But as always, the UFC puts the safety of its athletes first and foremost, and we won’t tolerate anyone using performance enhancing drugs in our organization.”
The punishment? A nine month suspension and a fine of one-third of his disclosed fight purse.
Meltzer was also able to get comments from an apologetic Leben.
“I’ve really done everything I can to turn my life around. And this is a huge setback for me. But it’s something I will have to deal with. During my time off from fighting, I want to speak to kids about the dangers of using performance enhancing agents and let them know it just doesn’t get you ahead in life. Of course, this is a hard hit for me monetarily, but more so this is embarrassing for me and for all my fans.”
Leben claimed he took the drug, which can apparently stay in your system for months, following his win over Alessio Sakara back in March. He thought it would clear his system by now. It didn’t.