UFC middleweight Rousimar Palhares denies knowingly taking any banned substances, but following a failed drug test at this past month's UFC on FX 6 event, he said he's accepted the punishment.
Palhares today issued a statement regarding the failed test to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
As UFC officials announced on Thursday, "Toquinho" was flagged for an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone level following the Dec. 15 fight.
At the event, which took place at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Palhares (14-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) suffered a TKO loss to Hector Lombard (32-3-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC). If victorious, Palhares would have seen his win overturned to a no-contest. However, as it stands, it'll remain a loss on his ledger.
The UFC, which oversaw regulatory duties because no governing athletic commission is available in Queensland, issued Palhares a nine-month suspension. He'll also need to pass a drug test before his return.
"I've always been extremely regimented with my diet and would not use anything that could harm my body or my performance inside the octagon," Palhares stated. "And it wasn't different this time. I never had the intention to cheat. I've got almost 30 fights in my career, most of them in the UFC. I have been subjected to several surprise tests, and there was never anything wrong. Besides, I knew that I would be tested after the fight in Australia because it is standard in the UFC. I have a clear conscience, but accepted the punishment. The rules are there for everyone and must be followed.
"I consulted with my doctor, and he will go over all food supplements used in my preparation for the fight and the test results. I want to know exactly what happened that made the testosterone rate unusual in my body."
Brazilian Top Team leader Murilo Bustamante also issued a statement in support of his fighter.
"'Toquinho' is one of the most rigorous with food, fitness and everything that involves his profession, but if he was accused of something wrong, it is because at some point there was a lapse," he stated. "So, this story has to be an example for all other fighters. There must be more care with everything that is eaten. The exams are increasingly strict; hence, the concern with food and supplements must also be greater."
Palhares, a dangerous submission specialist who was on a 6-1 run before recent back-to-back knockout losses to Alan Belcher and Lombard, is currently on the mend after suffering a fractured foot during the UFC on FX 6 fight.