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Junior dos Santos records message for fans affirming innocence in USADA case

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For the first time since failing a USADA drug test, Junior dos Santos is addressing the public.

The former UFC heavyweight champion recorded a short message for his fans less than 48 hours after the failed test was announced Friday, vowing that he is innocent of any charges of intentional doping and assuring everyone that he plans to fight Francis Ngannou in the future.

Following the UFC releasing a statement about his potential violation, dos Santos was removed from a scheduled bout opposite Ngannou at UFC 215 on Sept. 9.

See below for a transcript of dos Santos’s video:

Look, I’m not here to give any explanation. Soon everything will be clear to all of you and no doubt, truth will prevail. I’m here in respect for all of you guys. I just want to say that this situation is very tough for me, my team, and my family. And I would never cheat. It goes against everything I stand for. I play the fair game. We will get to the bottom of this, figure out what happened, learn from it, and move on. And I hope in the near future Francis Ngannou and me can face each other and give you guys the show you were expecting. For now, thank you very much for your support. It means a lot to me and that’s why I’m here.

Dos Santos’s manager Ana Guedes had previously spoken on the fighter’s behalf, releasing a pair of statements explaining that “Cigano” tested positive for a Hydrochlorothiazite (a diuretic banned by USADA for its potential use as a masking agent) and not any sort of performance enhancing drug.

Guedes also released a statement Saturday:

We now have the official copy of Junior's August 10 urine test. The level of hydrochlorothiazide listed on his USADA result was "low." Additionally, the specific gravity reading of Junior's urine sample was 1.025, indicating that the sample was not diluted. We understand the concentrated urine sample to mean that the low level of hydrochlorothiazide in Junior's system had no diuretic effect on his sample.

We are learning about some recent anti-doping cases where low levels of hydrochlorothiazide have been the result of supplement contamination, and even contaminated ground water. A 2016 study published by the National Institutes of Health found that over-the-counter NSAIDs left hydrochlorothiazide traces (See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27611956/).

Our goal now is simply to determine the unintended source of the hydrochlorothiazide. To that end, we have identified two nutritional supplements that Junior recently began using--neither of which show hydrochlorothiazide anywhere on their respective labels or ingredient lists-- and are working with USADA to test both. Hopefully that gets us answers.

All drug tests that Junior has taken--both prior to and post implementation of the USADA program--have been negative, including blood and urine samples he provided on July 10 of this year. He prides himself on being a clean athlete, and looks forward to resolving this matter.