Three UFC fighters fail drug tests

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

There were three very different drug test failures that came out over the past day among UFC fighters.

Lavar Johnson (17-7) failed a test for testosterone use given by the California State Athletic Commission from his Feb. 23 fight in Anaheim, where he lost a three-round decision against Brendan Schaub. Johnson, a muscular heavyweight slugger, has not yet been suspended.

According to UFC officials, Johnson had first tested for an elevated testosterone/epitestosterone ratio when the usual urine test results came in last week. California then administered a more expensive Carbon Isotope Ratio (CIR) test on Johnson, which confirmed the first test results.

The other two failures were in tests administered by the UFC itself. Both were from the March 3 show at the Saitama Super Arena in suburban Tokyo, Japan. The company tested all 22 fighters on the card, with Alex Caceres testing positive for marijuana and Riki Fukuda testing positive for three banned stimulants.

Caceres (8-5, 1 no contest) had his victory over Kyung Ho Kang, which he originally won via three-round decision, overturned and ruled a no-contest. The UFC suspended Caceres, best known by his nickname "Bruce Leroy," from his stint on The Ultimate Fighter season 12, for six months. The suspension is retroactive to the day of the fight. They also ordered Caceres to attend rehabilitation classes. He must pass a drug test at the end of the suspension before he will be allowed to fight again.

"I accept full responsibility for my actions and the consequences from those actions," Caceres said in a statement issued by his management team. "I apologize to all that I have disappointed, including the UFC, my family, coaches, training partners and fans. I accept the sanctions from the UFC and I look forward to completing the necessary steps to getting back in the octagon following the suspension and assuring that this never happens again."

It is the current company protocol that any fighter who tests positive for marijuana on a UFC-regulated show, which is generally the shows outside the U.S. and Canada, will be suspended six months and ordered to do rehab from an accredited facility, according to the UFC Director of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner.

"We believe in that (rehab), but what I'm pushing for is I don't think penalties for marijuana should be as severe as those for performance-enhancing drugs," said Ratner.

UFC policy is a nine-month suspension for a first offense for performance-enhancing drugs.

Fukuda (19-7), tested positive for Phernylpropanolamine, Norpseudoephedrine and Ephedrine, all stimulants, after his loss to Brad Tavares on the same show.

Fukuda had been released from his UFC contract after the loss to Tavares left him with a 2-3 record in his two years with the organization. He was not let go due to the rest result according to Ratner.

"From what I gathered, it was more a coincidence," said Ratner, regarding his release getting out on Tuesday and his suspension being released the next day. "If he had passed his tests, I don't think it would have mattered."

Fukuda's positive test result will be reported to the Association of Boxing Commissions, which will then make a decision regarding how long before he would be allowed to fight for another organization.

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