Pedro Munhoz stopped Jerrod Sanders in 39 seconds this past October, but there’s some controversy still surrounding his post-fight drug test.
Munhoz vs. Sanders took place in the preliminary portion of UFC Fight Night 54 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Oct. 4, 2014, and MMAFighting.com has learned that Munhoz failed his post-fight test for elevated levels of testosterone.
Neither the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority nor the UFC ever announced the test results, but Munhoz confirmed to MMAFighting.com he was informed of the failed test -- and that’s when it all gets weird.
According to Munhoz, he hired anti-doping specialist Paul Scott and appealed the result, and is still waiting to hear back from the commission.
"We called a specialist, Paul Scott, and the commission couldn’t explain why my levels were high," Munhoz told MMAFighting.com. "We asked the commission for documents, explaining what happened, and it took them three months to send them to me. They sent us a 150-page file, and we gave it to Paul Scott. He examined the entire thing and said ‘This is a joke, it’s all wrong’.
"The testosterone levels can go from 300 to 1100, and my level was at 850. That’s in the limit. ‘Oh, but your last test from Las Vegas was at 410, and you’re at 850 this time,' they said. But that’s not above the limit. And everything can change your testosterone level, even if you didn’t sleep properly, if you had sex, or if you took supplements. I was using two supplements, Vitrix and ZMA, and both are legal. I always ask the UFC before taking anything, and they told me I was allowed to use them."
The Black House bantamweight claims the UFC "is taking care of this situation directly with the commission" and is pinning the supposed testing issues on the inexperience of the commission. However, according to Nova Scotia Boxing Authority chairman Michael MacDonald, the UFC was the one who collected the sample and had it tested at a lab in Las Vegas.
"They did everything," MacDonald said of the UFC. "All we did was stand by and watch."
MacDonald said the UFC has a lot of experience with drug-testing, so the Nova Scotia commission deferred to them. The UFC was the one that notified the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority about Munhoz's test failure.
"They kind of run the show," MacDonald said of the UFC. "We're just there for the protection and of the fighters and to make sure the rules and regulations are followed. These guys, they have a well-oiled machine. They're doing this all over the world. They're very, very competent."
MacDonald said Munhoz was the only fighter to test positive from UFC Fight Night 54. Currently, the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority is waiting to hear back from the UFC "to make sure we have all the facts and clarity on everything." Munhoz is requesting his B sample be tested, MacDonald said. The chairman said there was no delay on the commission's side in informing Munhoz about the appeal process like he is claiming.
"I was kind of surprised, because there was a lull there where we didn't hear back from his side," MacDonald said. "So maybe that's what he's talking about."
Munhoz said the Nevada Athletic Commission is involved in the case, but multiple NAC officials told MMAFighting.com they are not aware of the situation.
The UFC issued a statement to MMAFighting.com, saying that they are "in the process of continuing to gather all of the pertinent information, including communication with Munhoz’s legal representation."
Munhoz said his lawyer is expected to meet with the Nova Scotia commission this week to find a solution for his case.
Here is Munhoz’s full statement:
I was informed by the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority that my exam came back positive for high levels of testosterone and they would suspend me, but I appealed. We called a lawyer because I had to prove my innocence. I only appealed because my conscience is clear, and I know I didn’t do anything wrong. We appealed, I wasn’t suspended, and they didn’t announce the test results. The commission took a step back.
This commission hasn’t worked in a MMA event for 10 years, and they have no experience in doping control. I fought four times in Las Vegas, was random tested several times, and tested on fight night in the United States and in Brazil, and never failed a test. The first time I fight in Canada, they didn’t find any illegal substance but say my testosterone levels were high.
We called a specialist, Paul Scott, and the commission couldn’t explain why my levels were high. We asked the commission for documents, explaining what happened, and it took them three months to send me back. They sent us a 150-page file, and we gave it to Paul Scott. He examined the entire thing and said ‘this is a joke, it’s all wrong’.
The person who collected my urine was a man, and they say in the file that it was a woman. That doesn’t exist. The urine samples are put in different containers, but they used the same one. The urine sample must be kept at certain temperature, but it wasn’t refrigerated at all. That changes everything.
The testosterone levels can go from 300 to 1100, and my level was at 850. That’s in the limit. ‘Oh, but your last test from Las Vegas was at 410, and was 850 this time’, they said. But that’s not above the limit. And everything can change your testosterone level, even if you didn’t sleep properly, if you had sex, or if you took supplements. I was using two supplements, Vitrix and ZMA, and both are legal. I always ask the UFC before taking anything, and they told me I was allowed to use them.
When the UFC heard about all this, they thought I was lying and the commission was right, but now the game changed. My lawyer finished our final letter, but the commission doesn’t respond. The UFC is taking care of this situation directly with the commission. The UFC said this is a joke and I can’t be suspended. I didn’t use any illegal substance and they can’t prove otherwise. The commission made a mistake, they don’t know how to do a drug test.
It’s taking forever. I fought in October, they contacted me in January, and it took them three months to send me the documents after my appeal. Our specialist analyzed everything and said they are wrong, and I have the right to appeal.
We are disappointed with the commission. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a commission that doesn’t have any experience. It was their first MMA event, and they were not organized ever since I did the urine test. For an example, I had to sign two different cups, which is normal, but they made me sign three -- and the last one with a different time than the others. Unfortunately, I’m suffering consequences from others’ mistakes.
I worked hard to get where I am and I would never do anything to put my professional and personal career in danger.
Marc Raimondi contributed to this story