Emil Meek has been pulled from what would have been his UFC debut due to a potential conflict with the promotion's anti-doping policy.
During the new athlete onboarding process, Meek informed USADA that he recently underwent medical treatment that might be out of compliance with the UFC's anti-doping policy, the promotion said Wednesday in a statement. Because of that disclosure, Meek was removed from a fight with Jessie Ayari at UFC Fight Night: Arlovski vs. Barnett on Sept. 3 in Hamburg, Germany.
Meek, best known for knocking out Rousimar Palhares in May, is not facing a potential anti-doping policy violation. But he will be given time to consult his doctor and re-evaluate his medical treatment, the UFC release state.
The UFC is now requiring Meek to be put in USADA's drug-testing pool for a period of four months before he can make his debut.
Meek stressed in a Facebook post Wednesday that he had not failed a drug test and this was precautionary.
"Going from Venator to UFC involves a way stricter regiment as to what kind of medication I'm allowed to use," Meek wrote. "We have decided it was not worth the risk. The result was pulling out of my upcoming fight in Hamburg. It changes nothing when it comes to my relationship with UFC, other than that my debut in the Octagon will be pushed to around December. Let me stress that I have not failed any drug test whatsoever! This is merely a preliminary precaution.
"I've been enrolled with USADA's registered testing pool to prepare since for my bout since June. As a fighter I'm happy and personally, I feel safer to compete under the USADA's anti-doping policy. I feel sorry for Jessin Ayari, I hope we can fight another day!"
When reached by MMA Fighting, Meek said the medical treatment was "nothing specific."
"The WADA prohibited list, it's very thorough," Meek said. "If you're unlucky and took a wrong supplement or wrong medicine from that list, [you're suspended] and I can't risk several years banned. I have never been in such a comprehensive program before, I just don't want to take any risks with my career. This is what I've been working for my whole life, I don't want to throw it away because I was reckless."
Meek's attorney Lucas Middlebrook added: "Emil was above board from the beginning, voluntarily disclosing all previously received medical treatment and he will consult with his physician to receive appropriate treatment that fully complies with the USADA program."
Meek (8-2) has won three straight, including that first-round knockout of Palhares at Venator FC 3 on May 21. Palhares, a former World Series of Fighting champion, was a huge favorite going in and would still likely be in the UFC if not for repeated issues with holding onto submissions too long. Meek, 27, hails from Norway.