Four UFC fighters suspended, fined for drug tests

MMA

UFC fighters Jamahal Hill, Tim Elliott, Luis Peña and Deron Winn were all suspended and fined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Thursday after recent positive drug tests.

Hill, Elliott and Peña tested positive for cannabis, while Winn was for amphetamines.

Hill’s first-round TKO victory over Klidson Abreu on May 30 was overturned to a no contest due to the violation. The 29-year-old undefeated light heavyweight prospect was suspended six months and fined 15% of his fight purse.

Elliott and Peña were each suspended 4 1/2 months and fined 15% of their fight purse. The reduced suspension was due to their fights being taken on short notice. Elliott lost to Brandon Royval on May 30 on 12 days notice, while Peña fell to Khama Worthy on June 27 on 18 days notice.

Winn was suspended nine months and fined $1,800 in relation to his March 7 loss to Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 248.

All the suspensions are retroactive to the date of the positive test. Cannabis is prohibited under Nevada regulations “in-competition,” meaning the period beginning 12 hours before a contest and ending with the post-fight drug test.

There were several other actions taken by the NSAC at their monthly meeting Thursday.

Jorge Gonzalez, who is signed to the UFC but has not yet debuted, had a temporary suspension extended following a positive drug test from Aug. 5 for several anabolic steroids, including the metabolites of drostanolone and stanozolol.

Gonzalez was supposed to fight Kenneth Bergh on July 15, but Bergh pulled out due to a bad weight cut. Gonzalez was then tied to two August fights with Ike Villanueva, but both fell through.

Ty Flores, who fought and lost to Dustin Jacoby on the Contender Series event on Aug. 4, had his temporary suspension extended after testing positive for metabolites of the steroid Turinabol (also known as DHCMT). He will have a disciplinary hearing at a later date.

Also at the meeting, two UFC fighters were granted temporary licenses following special hearings. Fighters Ryan Benoit and Roman Dolidze have a recurring issue with the long-term metabolite of Turinabol (or DHCMT) pulsing in their system in trace amounts, long after ingestion. Both Benoit and Dolidze have already been suspended by USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner. Neither were facing a violation in Nevada, but the UFC wanted to get ahead of a potential issue.

Last year, USADA added a threshold for the presence of the M3 metabolite of DHCMT. If a test result is below 100 picograms per milliliter of the substance, it is no longer considered a violation, but an atypical finding — provided there is no evidence of new ingestion or performance-enhancing effects. This is the exact situation that longtime UFC champion Jon Jones has dealt with and the Nevada commission inevitably licensed him to fight.

Benoit and Dolidze will be granted temporary licenses to compete beginning Dec. 1 following a six-month period of bimonthly testing by USADA, which has already begun.

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