Chad Mendes, one of the world’s best featherweight fighters, has been suspended for a period of two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Mendes tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in an out-of-competition sample May 17, according to USADA. The banned substance GHRP-6, also known as growth-hormone releasing hexapeptide, was found in the system of Mendes. The 31-year-old would not be able to make a return to the UFC until June 10, 2018, two years from the date of the beginning of his provisional suspension.

Mendes admitted he did not do his homework and remarked this was a big mistake. The UFC featherweight title contender said he owns the mistake and will pay for it.

The Team Alpha Male product has been one of the UFC’s best 145-pound fighters for the last five years. The American mixed martial artist has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 17, 2016, the date of sample collection, including forfeiture of any title, ranking, purse or other compensation.

The #4 in official UFC featherweight rankings, Mendes is ranked the #5 featherweight in the world by Sherdog and #8 featherweight in the world by Fight Matrix. Chad Mendes twice earned NCAA All-American honors made his World Extreme Cagefighting debut against Erik Koch on March 6, 2010 at WEC 47 and his UFC debut was against judo black belt Michihiro Omigawa on February 5, 2011 at UFC 126.

The former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler last fought against Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale in December where Mendes suffered a knockout loss.

What Is GHRP-6?

GHRP-6 (Growth Hormone Releasing Hexapeptide) is a prohibited substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. It belongs to the class of drugs known as growth hormone releasing peptides but it is not the same as human growth hormone (hGH). GHRP-6 is designed for improving natural production of growth hormone in the body and is commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders without requiring any “cycling” or post cycle therapy.

Growth hormone is believed to be a performance enhancing substance. Its use is associated with reductions in body fat and improvements in the levels of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) that both increases protein availability and inhibits cell death. These properties of IGF-1 facilitate significantly more efficient muscle growth & repair and aid recovery time from exercise and injury.

GHRP-6 is known to significantly increase appetite as it acts as a mimetic of ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”). It indirectly results in increased hGH production in the pituitary, primarily through ghrelin release and the hGH travels to the liver and signals it to produce IGF-1. This means many advantages for athletes such as decreased recovery times, decreased body fat, improved muscle tissue repair, and improved body composition. Growth Hormone Releasing Hexapeptide is usually injected though it may be used in cream form. Administration of GHRP-6, IGF-1 or hGH is banned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

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