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Frank Mir issues statement on two-year USADA suspension

Frank Mir: UFC on FOX 7 photos
Frank Mir has been consistent in his denial that he took an illegal substance.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Frank Mir was scrambling to figure out what he ingested in a span of six weeks last year that might have caused a positive drug test. The former UFC heavyweight champion was not pleased to find out his search might have been a giant waste of time, he wrote Saturday on Facebook.

On Friday, USADA announced Mir would be suspended two years, retroactive to April 2016. Mir tested positive for the banned drug Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT), which falls under the anabolic agent category, in a sample collected March 20, 2016.

It was initially thought that Mir passed a Feb. 5, 2016 drug test, but, per USADA, a new testing method showed that Mir had actually tested positive for DHCMT in that sample as well.

“It is frustrating to now be told that USADA has changed their mind about the February 5 test, claiming that the sample they once cleared is now clouded with the same trace metabolite,” Mir said in the Facebook statement. “Even more frustrating is that I've been told that the long term metabolite could date back two years, prior to the implementation of USADA standards and possibly to a time when I had a legal exemption for testosterone replacement therapy.”

I have consistently denied knowingly taking anything that would violate USADA's guidelines. I was originally told that...

Posted by Frank Mir on Friday, April 21, 2017

USADA’s statement that went out Friday said previous Mir samples had been re-tested using the new method after his March 2016 sample came back positive. That new method, used by a WADA-accredited lab in Tokyo, was what turned up the banned agent. USADA described the DHCMT metabolite as “long term.”

“As investment and commitment to anti-doping research increases, significant advancements in laboratory testing methods have allowed for improved sensitivity and longer detection windows,” USADA wrote. “By continually utilizing the most advanced testing methods as part of a comprehensive retesting program, USADA aims to maximize both the deterrence and detection of doping so athletes who seek an unfair advantage are held accountable now and in the future.”

Now being told what was a negative test turned out to be positive, Mir seems to feel misled by the process. His lengthy search to attempt to find what might have caused the positive test in the March 2016 sample was for naught.

“As hard as it was to try to retrospectively analyze everything I had consumed within a fairly recent six week period of my life, I would have no idea where to start going back years into my past,” Mir wrote.

Mir, 37, will be eligible to return to competition on April 7, 2018. He has previously requested his release from the UFC and has pursued gigs in broadcasting over the last few months. Mir maintains he did not knowingly take any illegal substance.

“What I can do is reiterate my denial and ask you to note that my position on this issue has remained consistent,” Mir said. “By contrast, USADA now has two versions of their narrative concerning me.”

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