Breaking her silence on the positive drug test that cost her a one-year suspension, Cris "Cyborg" released a video statement publicly acknowledging her personal responsibility for the result before offering her explanation. According to the former Strikeforce women's featherweight champion, she was deceived by someone within her camp who gave her the drug in an effort to lose weight.
"I did not know it was a steroid," she said in the taped statement shot by MMAPrime.tv.
Cyborg said she "made a mistake in trusting someone in my camp," and in rectifying the problem, said she had "eliminated certain people" from the camp.
She also said she has been taking monthly drug tests at the same laboratory used by the California state athletic commission in an attempt to show she does not take steroids.
Cyborg's positive result came shortly after her Dec. 17 win over Hiroko Yamanaka. It had been her first fight back after an 18-month layoff, and she was dominant, needing just 16 seconds to earn a first-round TKO.
The good times didn't last. In early January, she was informed of the positive result for stanozolol, a steroid often used to lose fat while preserving muscle. She was subsequently stripped of her belt and suspended for one year. Soon after, she attributed the cause to a dietary supplement. While she has now added more detail to the explanation and noted that she was ultimately responsible for what was in her body, she still held to the same defense.
"People say the only way I have gotten to where I am now is the use of drugs," she said. "They say I am a cheater. That's not true. I just made the mistake of taking something that was supposed to help me lose weight. I did not know it was a steroid."
Cyborg also acknowledged the result "cost me my belt and made me look like a cheater."
But, she said, she plans to continue working hard at her chosen sport and expects to return to the cage with a vengeance whenever her suspension is lifted.
"I want to say to my fans, I'm still training. I'm never going to stop," she said. "Everything I did for MMA is not going to stop here. I will be back."
Meanwhile, Cyborg's appeal is officially on the California state athletic commission docket for its April 9 meeting. On the agenda, she is listed as Cris "Cyborg" Justino, after recently confirming the end of her relationship with ex-husband Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos.