clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC’s Kevin Lee gets temporary suspension for positive test for banned stimulant

New, comments
UFC Fight Night: Lee v Rodriguez Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Kevin Lee has been placed on temporary suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) pending the resolution of a case stemming from his recent UFC fight against Daniel Rodriguez.

Lee tested positive for the amphetamine Adderall — a banned stimulant — in connection with his Aug. 28 bout against Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 35. A representative for the NAC confirmed Lee’s failed test with MMA Fighting on Wednesday. Lee was handed an extension of an already existing temporary suspension at Wednesday’s NAC meeting in Las Vegas.

Lee’s case is expected to be heard in full at the next NAC meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 17.

Lee released a statement Wednesday regarding his failed test and apologized for his “lack of professionalism that lead to this disappointment.” That statement can be read below.

I have tested over the limit allowed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in my most recent fight. In 2018 I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD, it has always affected me. I did not discover real treatment for the diagnosis until 2020 when I was recovering from my double knee surgeries. I was prescribed Adderall from a doctor to improve my mental Health. I told representatives from USADA but did not apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption from the NSAC before my last fight. For that, I truly apologize to the UFC, the commission, my opponent, Dana White, the matchmakers, Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard, and the fans.

It was never my intention to gain an athletic advantage. It was an attempt to conquer the severe anxiety I silently suffer from daily. I am actively cooperating with the Nevada Athletic Commission and expect to reach an agreement on a sanction. I will use this time to heal and come back stronger. Sorry for my lack of professionalism that lead to this disappointment, I’ll be back.

A USADA spokesperson told MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin that Lee’s positive test came from a test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It was not a USADA test.

Chael Sonnen first broke news of Lee’s status on Tuesday.

Lee, 29, suffered a unanimous decision loss at UFC Vegas 35 to Rodriguez, who served as a short-notice replacement for Lee’s original opponent Sean Brady. The setback marked Lee’s fourth loss over his last five fights.

A one-time challenger for an interim UFC lightweight title, Lee won nine of 10 bouts in the UFC from July 2014 to June 2017 to push into contention prior to his recent slump.