UFC featherweight Vince Murdock received a six-month reduction in a recent anti-doping suspension after documenting the rare neurological condition that forced him to undergo brain surgery this past year.
In a press release, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stated Murdock was given the reduction after documenting his diagnosis and treatment of Moyamoya, a neurological condition that narrows the artery to the brain and affects memory and cognition. His procedure, which spurred a $195,000 GoFundMe drive, was deemed a success.
“These records allowed USADA to reevaluate Murdock’s degree of fault for his positive test and determine that it was appropriate to reduce his sanction from 20 months to 14 months,” the release stated.
Murdock initially was suspended after testing positive for GW1516, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that’s banned year round. USADA found the Team Alpha Male fighter did not declare his use of the substance in his onboarding documentation prior to joining the UFC, but “came forward with evidence of his use of this prohibited substance before entering the Program.”
With the 14-month suspension, Murdock will be eligible to compete again on Sept. 6, 2020.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Murdock spoke about his experience dealing with moyamoya and the series of circumstances that led to the cancellation of his octagon debut at UFC on ESPN 3. He said he took the SARM to help him deal with fatigue from the illness and expressed doubt about his timeline for a return.
Murdock said his team played a huge part in helping him get through the situation.
“I think a support system has really stood out, because without that I don’t know how anyone would be able to handle something like that,” he said. “That’s something I’ve been really good at, positioning myself around people that genuinely do care about my well-being, [Urijah] Faber being one of them. The guy moved me out in 2011 and has been a huge help to me. This whole thing just kind of sucks because I’ve always tried to represent the team to the best of my ability and obviously of late, that hasn’t been the case. Especially with this it’s just so frustrating because it took me this long to get there, and then I have this. But I’m optimistic. I’ll be OK.”
Murdock told MMA Junkie he’s working on getting cleared by doctors for competing in the UFC.