The Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to extended temporary suspensions for several UFC athletes following positive drug tests in recent fights.
Both Hill and Elliott tested positive for marijuana surrounding their fights at the UFC card held on May 30 in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Pena’s positive test surrounded his most recent fight on June 27 with an event also held at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
All three fighters had their temporary suspensions extended until a full disciplinary hearing is held at a later date.
In recent years, the Nevada Commission has dramatically changed their stance on positive drug tests for marijuana, often treating them as low-level offenses. A six-month suspension for a first offense has become typical, although nothing has been determined yet regarding Hill, Elliott or Pena.
Meanwhile, middleweight competitor Marc-Andre Barriault also had his temporary suspension extended after he tested positive for ostarine following a drug test surrounding his June 20 win over Oskar Piechota at the UFC APEX in Las vegas.
Ostarine, which is listed as a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM), is a banned substance at all times for athletes, but the drug has become the subject of scrutiny in recent years due to so many positive tests caused by contaminated supplements. As part of the updated UFC anti-doping policy, the United States Anti-Doping Agency has listed eight different substances, including SARMs, with certain threshold levels that wouldn’t automatically flag an athlete for a doping violation.
After news of his positive test was first revealed, Barriault issued a statement denying that he knowingly took any banned substance with his belief that he was likely a victim of a contaminated supplement.
“I was notified last week that an in-competition sample that I provided to the NSAC the night of my last fight on June 20th, 2020 was positive for an extremely low level (approximately 190 picograms or 190 parts per trillion) of the prohibited substance, Ostarine,” Barriault said in a statement released to Yahoo Sports. “First and foremost, I want to make things crystal clear, I did not intentionally use Ostarine, nor have I ever knowingly used any prohibited substance in my career. Since the beginning of my professional career, I have been tested three times by the Quebec athletic commission, and a total of seven times under the UFC/USADA program and have always tested negative.
“Since I found out about this last week, I have learned quite a bit about Ostarine, specifically that it is commonly found as a low-level contaminant in certain dietary supplements, often at levels that provide absolutely no performance enhancing benefit. I strongly believe that a supplement contaminant is the reason for my low-level positive, and I am actively working with the UFC on reviewing and testing supplements that I have used prior to my June 20th fight, in the hope of identifying the culprit.
“While I am extremely disappointed in this development, I am looking forward to finding a definitive explanation for my low-level positive test, to fully cooperating with the NSAC and to getting back to work in the Octagon soon.”
For now, Barriault will remain under a temporary suspension until a future hearing with the NAC is held.