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Walt Harris suspended four months by CSAC for positive drug test, UFC 232 win overturned

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Walt Harris has been sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) stemming from a positive drug test in relation to UFC 232 in December.

CSAC has suspended the UFC heavyweight four months and will fine him $4,000 for failing a drug test for the prohibited substance LGB4033, a selective androgen receptor module (SARM). His win over Andrei Arlovski at UFC 232 has been overturned to a no-contest.

The suspension is retroactive to Dec. 29, so Harris will be eligible to fight again in late April. In addition, Harris will have to enroll with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) for two tests at his own cost.

Harris, 35, was able to prove that he ingested the substance via a tainted supplement, per CSAC executive officer Andy Foster, and the commission does not consider him an intentional doper. Harris got his supplements tested and one came back positive for LGB4033.

In many CSAC doping cases, fighters are hit with a charge for a “discredit” of MMA and boxing due to the failed drug test, but it wasn’t used in this case because it was a legitimate unintentional ingestion.

“We just want to thank Andy Foster and CSAC, as well as [UFC executive] Jeff Novitzky and the UFC for their help in this situation,” said Harris’ manager Jason House of Iridium Sports. “We knew all along Walt was innocent. We’re very grateful that we were able to clear his name.”

Harris (11-7, 1 NC), an Alabama native, had originally beaten Arlovski via split decision at UFC 232. At the time, he was on a two-fight winning streak. Harris has been in the UFC since 2013 and this was his first positive drug test.

USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner, could still sanction Harris even though it was a drug test administered by CSAC and not USADA, per policy.