Rodriguez released a statement on Instagram confirming he’d tested positive for ostarine, a banned performance-enhancing drug linked to several tainted supplement cases, and was unable to compete against Ponzinibbio at T-Mobile Arena for Noche UFC.
Rodriguez said his positive sample contained an “extremely low level” of the banned PED, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that’s banned at all times. The 36-year-old fighter denied knowingly ingesting ostarine and added “I strongly believe that a supplement contaminant is the reason for my low-level positive, and am actively working with my manager, [the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency], and the UFC on reviewing and testing the supplements I took prior to my test.”
USADA, which administer’s the UFC’s anti-doping program, typically confirms positive tests if athletes first disclose them publicly, but the agency could not immediately be reached for comment on Rodriguez.
In his most recent octagon appearance, Rodriguez suffered a first-round TKO loss to Ian Machado Garry, his second straight setback after a stoppage loss to Neil Magny in his previous appearance. His overall octagon record is 7-3.
It’s not clear at the time of this writing whether Ponzinibbio will get a replacement opponent for the fall event.
Here is Rodriguez’s full statement.
Following a communication from USADA today, I wanted to clarify the current situation to the media, my supporters, and everybody involved in the sport of mixed martial arts.
Today I was notified that an out-of-competition sample that I provided to USADA was positive for an extremely low level of Ostarine. First and foremost, I want to clarify I did not intentionally use Ostarine, nor have I ever knowingly used any prohibited substance in my career. I rarely take any form of supplements and have always strived to care for my body in the most natural ways. From my first fight until today I have had a negative test every single time not one slip up not one positive test until today. Since I was notified, I became educated on Ostarine, as well as others who have tested positive for the substance. Ostarine, specifically, is commonly found as a low-level contaminant in certain dietary supplements. These levels provide absolutely no performance-enhancing benefit. I strongly believe that a supplement contaminant is the reason for my low-level positive, and am actively working with my Manager, USADA, and The UFC on reviewing and testing the supplements I took prior to my test.
While I am extremely disappointed in this development and am now unable to fight on September 16th, I am looking forward to finding a definitive explanation for my low-level positive test and am ready to fully cooperate with the USADA. I look forward to getting back to work in the Octagon soon. Unfortunately, some things are just out of our control. Moving forward, I will be more selective with the supplements I put in my body and will be sure to confirm they are all third party-approved.