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Archive for  June 2015

Monday 29, Jun 2015

My Credibility Is Not Very High, Says Bjarne Riis

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In an interview with Danish television channel TV2, Bjarne Riis has admitted that he was complicit in the use of doping products at Team CSC when he was the director.

Riis also admitted he blood doped himself during his career and knew that Tyler Hamilton was blood doping with disgraced Spanish doctor Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. The Danish former professional road bicycle racer, who won the 1996 Tour de France, said he is well aware of the fact that his credibility is not very high.

The former cyclist made these remarks after a 97-page Anti-Doping Denmark report concluded that Bjarne Riis, former Riis Cycling managing director Alex Pedersen, directeur sportif Johnny Weltz (now a directeur sportif at Cannondale-Garmin), and many Danish former riders all violated anti-doping rules. None of them will however face disciplinary action due to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s eight-year statute of limitation rule in force at the time.

The ADD report also disclosed that the ex-coach gave the telephone number of the Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes to Tyler Hamilton.

The report published by ADD was based on interviews with present and former riders, aides, and officials, including rider Michael Rasmussen. The interviews were conducted by telephone or email with people involved in cycling since 1998.

Rasmussen, who was interviewed for two days in January 2013, admitted in 2013 that he doped for more than a decade. In 2007, Rasmussen was leading the 2007 Tour de France and was sacked by his team after he lied about his whereabouts when he missed pre-race doping tests.

During the investigation by Anti-Doping Denmark, Riis spoke to ADD and admitted to blood doping and confirmed he had personal knowledge about practices related to blood doping. It was also revealed during the investigation that he had requested Danish rider Bo Hamburger provide Erythropoietin (EPO) to Jörg Jaksche. Riis also said there was a widespread use of Cortisone at Team CSC without medical justification. Riis, nicknamed The Eagle from Herning, said there are some things in the report that he does not agree with but he will not elaborate on them. The ex-cyclist said the report concluded that he failed as a leader and he confirmed and regret that deeply.

Later, Riis issued a statement to repeat his feelings of failure and regret and said he supports recommendations of the ADD report. The former professional cyclist said he believes the ADD recommendations could make a critical contribution for the future of cycling. Riis also went on to add that he is absolutely convinced that cycling as a sport is much cleaner today, partly due to the Biological Passport.

Bjarne Riis, the former general manager of Team CSC, admitted on 25 May 2007 that he used banned substances to come first in the 1996 Tour de France. The Tour reconfirmed his victory in July 2008 but with an asterisk label to indicate his doping offences. Following the 1998 Tour de France, Riis acquired the nickname of Mr. 60 percent to suggest he has used doping. The 60 percent is an allusion to a high level of red blood cells that indicate EPO usage.

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Saturday 27, Jun 2015

Fresh Doping Claims Against Alberto Salazar

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Alberto Salazar, who was recently accused of promoting doping within his team, has been accused of allegedly hiring a private drug-testing company to make sure that his athletes would not trigger a failed test.

The Telegraph reported Salazar repeatedly applied for permission to use medications that he did not need during his career as an elite runner. In recent weeks, Salazar, who coaches Mo Farah, has been accused of violating multiple doping regulations, including exploitation of the therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) system without medical justification for giving a distinctive edge to his athletes. It was reported by the British daily that the association of Alberto Salazar with suspicious exemptions actually dates back to the 1980s when he used to allegedly put in regular applications for health conditions he was deemed not to suffer from.

In the recent past, many of his trained athletes have alleged that Salazar encouraged them to do the same. The Telegraph reported an external company was hired by Alberto Salazar to find out whether anything that runners in his Nike Oregon Project were taking would result in a doping breach.

Don Catlin, one of the world’s leading anti-doping experts and the founding father of drug-testing in sport, recently revealed a report commissioned by Salazar was shown to hum not long after the Nike Oregon Project coaching facility was established in 2001. Catlin said he was asked to review a list of drugs tests that somebody had requested from a company that did testing and added that person was Alberto Salazar. It is not clear whether the report revealed any failed values or exactly which of the athletes of the coach took part in the testing though it was before the time when Mo Farah joined the camp.

Catlin, who developed the first anti-doping facility of America, said he was initially alarmed by the conduct of Salazar when he was a member of both the US Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee in the 1980s. Catlin said Salazar who was a professional long-distance runner would repeatedly attempt to apply for medical exemptions so that he can use restricted treatments for conditions that he deemed him not to suffer from. Catlin said Salazar tried to get a TUE for all kinds of things when he did not there was any reason and he denied all of them.

Recently, BBC’s Panorama alleged that Alberto used his son Alex to apply testosterone gel to find out how much would trigger a positive test. Steve Magness, Salazar’s former assistant coach, said Alberto putting testosterone on his son was ludicrous. A joint Panorama and ProPublica investigation accused Salazar of numerous doping offences, including encouraging his runners to flaunt the system regarding prescription drugs and plying Galen Rupp with testosterone when the athlete was 16.

A former Nike Oregon Project massage therapist revealed that Alberto Salazar used to warn his athletes not to touch his bags as he feared contaminating them with his testosterone gel. Allan Kupczak, who left the camp in 2011, said he found many vials and drugs in the bags and room of Salazar.

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Thursday 25, Jun 2015

Former Tour De France Winner Escapes Ban

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Former Tour de France winner and Team CSC manager Bjarne Riis has managed to escape a ban even though it was revealed by a report by Denmark’s anti-doping agency (ADD) that he decided to ignore use of banned performance enhancing drugs by riders on the former Team CSC.

A statue of limitations for doping cases applies and no disciplinary charges can be brought as many of the revelations contained in the report are dating back more than 10 years. It was suggested by the Anti-Doping Denmark report that there would be grounds without a statute of limitations to bring doping cases forward against a number of Danish riders who have admitted either their own doping violations or where the interviews have given the investigation group knowledge about their alleged offences.

According to the 97-page report published on Tuesday, senior Team CSC members Johnny Weltz (now a directeur sportif at Cannondale-Garmin) and Alex Pedersen (former Riis Cycling Managing Director) were also aware of the doping practices.

This report was based on interviews with 50 present and former riders, aides, and officials, including the Danish rider Michael Rasmussen. In 2013, Rasmussen admitted he doped for more than a decade. The cyclist was leading the 2007 Tour de France when he was sacked by his team for lying about his whereabouts after he missed pre-race doping tests. Rasmussen, who was interviewed for two days in 2013, said he experienced a widespread use of banned cortisone on Team CSC with the acceptance of team doctors and its leaders. The former cyclist also remarked his teammate Tyler Hamilton also received cortisone.

It was revealed by the report that Bjarne Riis provided Tyler Hamilton with the number of the disgraced Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. It was revealed that Riis told Hamilton that Fuentes is the best in the business and he is the doctor to go to for blood doping. Fuentes was not interviewed by Anti-Doping Denmark. It was also revealed in the ADD report that Riis admitted to being aware that Tyler Hamilton was working for blood doping with Dr. Fuentes and he did not act to stop it. Riis also confessed to blood doping during his own illustrious career and said he had personal knowledge about blood doping practices.

In 2007, Riis admitted he made use of Erythropoietin (EPO), the banned blood booster, to win the Tour de France in 1996. Riis later managed CSC that later became Team Tinkoff-Saxo.

The ADD report was inspired by a US Anti-Doping Agency investigation that saw Lance Armstrong getting stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from professional cycling for doping offences. The report by Anti-Doping Denmark also included an allegation by Danish rider Bo Hamburger that Bjarne Riis asked him to acquire EPO in 2000 for German Team Telekom rider Jorg Jaksche. This allegation was confirmed by Jaksche to the ADD investigators but it was denied by Riis who said though he did coach the two cyclists, he was not aware that either of them was doping.

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Tuesday 23, Jun 2015

Danish Cyclist Admits To Doping

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Nicki Sorensen, the former Tinkoff-Saxo rider, has admitted that he doped during the first part of his career. The former professional cyclist said he doped in the initial stages of his career, which was more than a decade ago. This admission came a day ahead of the release of a report into doping in Danish cycling between 1998 and 2015.

Sorensen said he told Anti-Doping Denmark of his experiences and admitted to doping to ease his conscience and because he also wanted to help the sport of cycling. According to reports in Danish media, Sorensen admitted to doping during the 2004 Olympic Games.

The cyclist, who won four Danish National Road Race Championships between 2003 and 2011, denied Bjarne Riis, his former team principal, had encouraged him to do so. Sorensen said it was his own decision to dope. Interestingly, Riis won the 1996 Tour de France but he admitted in 2007 that he used Erythropoietin (EPO, the banned blood booster) to secure victory. Riis admitted to using EPO from 1993 to 1998, including during his 1996 Tour de France victory. The cyclist also admitted to taking human growth hormone and cortisone.

In 1999, Nicki Sorensen turned professional with Team Chicky World. Later, he joined Team Fakta before joining CSC-Tiscali, where he would spend the remainder of his career.

The 40-year-old Sorensen is now a sport director at the Tinkoff-Saxo team. The four-time Danish national champion and a Tour de France stage winner will be named in an impending report from Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD) that also investigated former Tinkoff team boss Bjarne Riis. ADD is relying heavily on the testimony of Michael Rasmussen, the former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer.

In a book, the former Tour de France king of the mountains Michael Rasmussen provided complete insights about his doping practices. Rasmussen also claimed in the book “Yellow fever” that systematic doping was going on his former CSC-Tiscali team and team owner Bjarne Riis was fully aware of what was going on. The former cyclist also disclosed that it was his impression that almost all riders used doping and added he got systematic injections with cortisone to ride faster and delay fatigue.

In the book, the ex-cyclist disclosed that the team doctors constantly monitored blood values for monitoring hematocrit values during the season to find out which riders used EPO and which riders were in danger of getting caught. Rasmussen also accused Nicki Sørensen of doping. Rasmussen said both of them lived in the same hotel and Nicki told him rather desperately that he had been unable to find EPO or growth hormone. At this point of time, Rasmussen said he calmed Nicki and sed a CSC car and drove to a known pharmacy and bought EPO and growth hormones.

In a team press statement, Tinkoff-Saxo said the team has a deep-rooted anti-doping culture that is implemented throughout the entire team. It was added that the team was convinced at the time and remains of the view that Sorensen has conducted himself fully in accordance with this culture over the past decade of working with the team.

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Sunday 21, Jun 2015

Australia’s Olympic Gold Medalist Hit With Doping Ban

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Australian Olympic gold medalist Kylie Palmer, a member of Australia’s 4x200m freestyle relay team that won gold at Beijing in 2008, has accepted a provisional doping suspension for a positive drug test she returned almost two years ago.

The alleged doping offence pertains from a test taken at the 2013 world titles in Barcelona, where she won a 4x200m freestyle relay silver medal with Bronte Barratt, Brittany Elmslie, and Alicia Coutts.

Palmer stood down from the Australian swim team while strongly denying that she ever took a banned substance. In April this year, Kylie Palmer was notified her sample given in Barcelona at the 2013 world titles had tested positive for traces of a banned substance. Palmer’s B sample has been tested and returned another positive result.

It is believed that traces of the banned substances were so minute that FINA, the world governing body of swimming, initially opted against pressing any anti-doping violation and dismissed the case. However, FINA was told to investigate the matter further when the World Anti-Doping Agency reviewed all cases from the 2013 world titles. Palmer is now expected to face anti-doping tribunal hearing and could risk a possible ban of two years that would rule her out of a third Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.

In a press statement, Swimming Australia said Kylie Palmer advises that she has voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension under the FINA Doping Control Rules pending determination of proceedings against her for a breach of those Rules. Swimming Australia did not specify the banned substance and said Kylie was notified on 13 April 2015 that a sample she provided at the Swimming World Championships in Barcelona nearly two years previously (i.e. on 31 July 2013) had tested positive to a minute trace of a prohibited substance. The statement added Kylie since that time has been endeavoring to investigate how this arose, a task that is almost impossible given the extraordinary passage of time and recent testing on the B Sample of the sample provided by Kylie on 31 July 2013 has also tested positive to a minute trace of the prohibited substance.

The Swimming Australia statement said Kylie categorically denies knowingly taking any prohibited substance in Barcelona in July 2013 or at any time in her career. It was also remarked that Kylie presently has no idea how the prohibited substance came into her system and is continuing to investigate the matter to the extent that she is able given the passage of time and Kylie has always been a strong supporter of the anti-doping measures undertaken by FINA and has prided herself on being a successful clean swimmer. It was also remarked that Kylie has chosen to withdraw from the Australian team for the upcoming Swimming World Championships in Russia in late July whilst she focuses on defending the FINA proceedings against her. The statement said she wishes all of her Australian teammates well and will support them from afar and will pursue her dream to represent Australia at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio once the FINA proceedings are dealt with.

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Friday 19, Jun 2015

Mo Farah Missed Doping Tests In 2012

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The Daily Mail has reported that double Olympic champion Mo Farah from Britain missed two drug tests in the run-up to the 2012 London Games. This development came at an awkward time for Farah following doping allegations against his coach, Alberto Salazar.

This month, Salazar was accused of administering Testosterone to Galen Rupp, Farah’s American training partner. Both Rupp and Salazar have denied the allegations and Farah has not been accused of doing anything illegal. The Mail however reported that Farah, the London Olympics 5,000 and 10,000 meters champion, had put his participation at the 2012 Games in jeopardy after he missed out on two tests around the time he started training under Salazar in February 2011. According to the rules of UK Anti-Doping, an athlete who misses three tests in any 12-month period can face a ban of up to four years.

The Daily Mail reported the first missed test of Farah appears to have occurred in early 2010, several months before he joined up with Alberto Salazar. The first missed test was many months before he broke David Moorcroft’s 28-year-old British 5,000m record and went on to became the first Briton to break the 13-minute barrier.

However, the second missed test is believed to have been scheduled after Mo Farah started working with Salazar. The British newspaper added that Alberto had warned Farah on May that year that they will hang you if you miss another test. Farah missed the second out-of-competition test in 2011, according to the Mail that added he appealed to the UK Anti-Doping Agency claiming he did not hear the doorbell at his Teddington home in Greater London. It was further disclosed by the newspaper that his agent, Ricky Simms, as part of his appeal, submitted video evidence filmed in the house of Mo Farah in which he tried to suggest that it was difficult to hear the doorbell from his client’s bedroom.

In 2006, Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu was suspended for 12 months after he missed three tests. The Commonwealth Games 400 meters champion was the subject of an inquiry by UK Athletics and claimed she had missed the tests because of “changes in my training schedule”.

Farah is expected to compete in next week’s Diamond League meeting in Monaco and then he will compete in the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium in London. The British long-distance and middle-distance runner is the current Olympic, World and European champion in the 5000 meters to 10,000 meters. Farah made his marathon debut in 2014 in London and set a new English record of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 21 seconds. In 2011, Mo Farah was voted European Athlete of the Year and won the prize again in 2012. The five global titles of Farah are two more than any other British athlete. Farah won the British Athletics Writers Association British Athlete of the Year award for the fifth time in 2013 and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honors for services to athletics.

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Wednesday 17, Jun 2015

Monaghan Player Banned Over Doping

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A joint statement from the GAA and Irish Sports Council has outlined that Monaghan GAA player Thomas Connolly has been found guilty of a doping offense.

Connolly, who has represented Monaghan at minor, U21 and senior level, tested positive for Stanozolol (3’-hydroxystanozolol glucuronide). Stanozolol is commonly used by athletes to lose fat while retaining lean body mass.

The Monaghan footballer tested positive in an out-of-competition test on 13 February, shortly after he joined the senior panel for the 2015 National League. The ban imposed on the Gaelic footballer from Monaghan has been backdated by the GAA anti-doping hearings committee to March 18, when he was provisionally suspended by the GAA.

The statement said the GAA and the Irish Sports Council jointly announce that the GAA Anti-Doping Hearings Committee determined that player Thomas Connolly has committed an anti-doping rule violation. It was further added that the GAA player from Monaghan has been sanctioned by a period of ineligibility of two years commencing on the March 18, 2015 – the date on which he was provisionally suspended by the GAA, subject to rights of appeal within 21 days under the Irish Anti-Doping Rules. The committee said it had come to the view that the violation was not intentional. It pointed out that Connolly chose to accept tablets from someone with no medical qualifications and did not seek advice from a doctor, pharmacist, nutritionist or anyone in the Monaghan set-up that suggests he has taken no steps to identify what it was that was provided to him.

It was also disclosed that this was a reduction from the standard period of four years’ ineligibility because the GAA Anti-Doping Hearings Committee was of the view that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional, under article 10.1.3 of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules.

Connolly, who tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol last February, has received a suspension of two years. Stanozolol is listed as an exogenous anabolic androgenic steroid on the prohibited list of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Connolly said he was given tablets by a “work colleague” after he complained of “pain and stiffness” as a result of the training he received as a new member of Malachy O’Rourke’s Monaghan football panel.

Malachy O’Rourke and county board chairman Padraig Sherry testified that Thomas Connolly had not been informed of anti-doping rules. However, it was established that Connolly is responsible for educating himself about banned substances. The committee was convinced by Connolly’s testimony and legal argument by his barrister, Aaron Shearer, that Connolly unknowingly took steroids and this reduced the four-year ban to a two-year ban.

The GAA anti-doping hearing committee was chaired by Adrian Colton QC and other committee members were former Dublin manager Dr Pat O’Neill and former GAA president Nickey Brennan. The GAA Anti-Doping Hearings Committee expressed concern about the apparent lack of understanding and application of the anti-doping rules and processes at county level in this case. It urged the GAA to intensify its work to ensure that all players, county officers, coaches, managers, medical and allied sports science personnel and players representatives are fully cognizant of their obligations under anti-doping rules of the association.

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Monday 15, Jun 2015

UK Athletics Will Fully Support Mo Farah

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The chairman of UK Athletics, Ed Warner, has remarked Mo Farah will be fully supported if he decides to “disengage” from his coach Alberto Salazar, who has been accused of encouraging use of banned drugs.

Warner remarked we supported him when he wanted to go to Oregon in the first place. He added Farah is an iconic athlete and one of our great winners and Farah remains one of our greatest prospects and we do what we can to give all necessary support. The UK Athletics chairman added we would support him if he wants to disengage after listening to the answers to his questions. Farah flew back to his training camp in Portland to demand answers to doping allegations against his coach.

BBC’s Panorama documentary recently alleged that Salazar administered the banned steroid testosterone to Galen Rupp, the training partner of Farah, when he was 16 and broke or bent other anti-doping rules.

Salazar, one of the world’s best known athletics coaches, denied claims made by Steve Magness, who was his number two at the Oregon Project in 2011, suggesting the blood levels of Rupp revealed the athlete was on “testosterone medication”. In a statement to BBC, Salazar said the legal nutritional supplement Testoboost had been incorrectly recorded in the document as “testosterone medication”.

Rupp, who is one of the most drug tested athletes of America, has denied ever using testosterone or testosterone medication. The 29-year-old said he is completely against the use of performance enhancing drugs. Rupp commented he had not taken any banned substances and Alberto has never suggested that he should take a banned substance. A massage therapist at an altitude training camp in Utah in 2008 heard claims testosterone was seen on several occasions by athletes and staff and Salazar allegedly told the therapist the testosterone was for his own use for treatment of a heart condition. The BBC quizzed many cardiologists who said treating a heart condition with testosterone would be highly unusual.

In another stunning development, a former runner who trained under Salazar has backed the “full extent” of BBC investigation’s allegations. Josh Rohatinsky, who ran for Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project from 2007 to July 2009, said the improvement of Rupp from 2006 to 2012 was “highly suspicious”. Rohatinsky remarked there was always a wall of separation between Alberto and Galen with the rest of the group, the entire time he was with the group. He also remarked the level of secrecy and seclusion was definitely palpable and went on to remark that Alberto himself said back around the year 2000 that he believes it is near impossible to medal in a distance event clean. The runner also said Salazar asked him to take two supplements – Testoboost and Alpha Male – both of which were legal.

Previously, American distance runner Kara Goucher said she quit the Nike Oregeon Project in 2011 over the alleged willingness of Alberto Salazar to manipulate anti-doping rules. Goucher claimed Salazar suggested she should take Cytomel – a synthetic thyroid hormone given to people with underactive thyroids – even though she did not have a prescription for it.

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Saturday 13, Jun 2015

MMA Fighter Suspended After Failed Marijuana Test

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MMA Fighter Suspended After Failed Marijuana Test

American mixed martial artist Fernando Gonzalez, who is currently competing in Bellator’s Welterweight division, has failed post-fight drug test for marijuana. The MMA fighter has been fined $1500 and the cost of his second offense’s doping test.

CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster said Gonzalez has been suspended for 90 days and the increased penalty is on the basis that the MMA fighter had twice violated rules of the commission on banned substances.

This is the second failed drugs test for Gonzalez. In 2014, Fernando Gonzalez tested positive for marijuana and received a suspension of one month and a fine of $315. However, his technical knockout of former UFC star Karo Parisyan was overturned after the failed test to a no-contest. At that time, Rob Emerson, Keith Berry, and Nick Moghaddam were also suspended and/or fined for post-fight drug test failures following Bellator 127. Berry and Moghaddam tested positive for marijuana and elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio while Emerson tested positive for Modafinil, which is a drug used to improve alertness and cognitive function. Gonzalez said he was smoking pot to help with insomnia and had not used it for enhancement. The MMA fighter said marijuana does not make anyone perform any better and all he used it for was to get a good sleep.

Born on September 15, 1983, Gonzalez is presently competing in Bellator’s Welterweight division. Since 2003, Gonzalez has been a professional competitor for the World Extreme Cagefighting, Strikeforce, and King of the Cage. The former WBC National Muay Thai Cruiserweight champion made his WEC and MMA debut on October 17, 2003 against Mike Castillo where he won via first round TKO. The American mixed martial artist made his Bellator debut against Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament winner Karl Amoussou on July 25, 2014 at Bellator 122. Gonzalez, coming in as an underdog, won via unanimous decision to pull off a huge upset. In his second appearance for Bellator, Gonzalez stepped in as a replacement for Marious Zaromksis and won the fight in the first round via TKO. However, he was suspended for 30 days and fined $315 after he tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

In another development, Mike Richman has been suspended after he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. It is believed that Richman tested positive for Drostanolone (Masteron) though the same is still not officially confirmed by the California State Athletic Commission. Richman failed the drugs test after his unanimous decision loss at Bellator 137 to Eduardo Dantas at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.  The American mixed martial artist accepted the failed drugs test and said he let himself, his family, coach, friends, and fans down because of the doping incident.

In 2008, Richman made his professional debut and compiled an undefeated record of 8-0 before he competed on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck.

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said in a statement that CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster has communicated of two positive tests following Bellator 137. It was revealed that Fernando tested positive for marijuana, while Richman failed a test for performance enhancing drugs.

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Thursday 11, Jun 2015

Mike Richman Suspended For Two Years

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Mike Richman Suspended For Two Years

American mixed martial artist Mike Richman has been suspended by the California State Athletics Commission (CSAC) following his Bellator 137 loss to Edurado Dantas on May 15, 2015 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula. The bantamweight division fighter also came in overweight for the bout.

It is believed that Richman tested positive for Drostanolone, which is marketed as Masteron. This year, ex-UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva also tested positive for Drostanolone. Last July, UFC middleweight Kevin Casey tested positive for the same steroid following his UFC 175 win in Las Vegas over Bubba Bush. A few weeks later, featherweight prospect Brian Ortega was busted for Drostanolone after he defeated Mike de la Torre at UFC on Fox 12 in San Jose. The wins of Casey and Ortega were flipped to no contests and Casey and Ortega received suspensions of one year and nine months, respectively.

Masteron is widely used as a cutting cycle drug by professional bodybuilders. This anabolic androgenic steroid is also used by athletes for hardening muscles and is rated as an excellent finisher during a steroid cycle.

Richman (18-6) was more than three pounds over the bantamweight maximum of 136 pounds before Bellator 137. His fight against Edurado Dantas was almost called off before Dantas, the former Bellator bantamweight champion, agreed to take the fight. Richman was beaten by Dantas via unanimous decision.

The 29-year-old Richman has received a suspension of two years and will have to pay a fine of $2,500, according to a confirmation by California State Athletic Commission executive officer Andy Foster. The former U.S. marine was coming off back-to-back knockout wins over Ed West at Bellator 126 and Nam Phan at Bellator 131.

A statement by Bellator disclosed that Andy Foster of the CSAS has notified them of the positive test of Mike Richman for performance enhancing drugs. The statement added Bellator stand behind the California State Athletics Commission completely in the process and remains committed to keeping the sport of Mixed Martial Arts clean of substance abuse.

Richman took full responsibility of the mistake and issued an apology to everyone on his Facebook page. The professional competitor in MMA said he will not deny that he used the anabolic steroid and blame it on someone else. Richman went on to comment that he is cheat, plain and simple, and wants to apologize to Bellator MMA for his wrongdoing. Richman also remarked that he wants to apologize to his head MMA coach Greg Nelson as his positive test brought bad name. The MMA fighter also issued an apology to his S&C coach Matt Miller of Horsepower strength and conditioning and added he had no knowledge of his use of the steroid.

Born and raised in Rosemount, Mike Richman started competing in wrestling events from a young age. Upon graduating, Richman joined the United States Marine Corps and served three tours as an infantryman in Iraq and reached the rank of Sergeant. In 2008, Richman started training in mixed martial arts. Richman compiled an undefeated record of 8-0 before he competed on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSPP vs. Team Koscheck.

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