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Kimo Suspended by NSAC for steroid use

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  • Kimo Suspended by NSAC for steroid use

    The following article comes from the Las Vegas Journal in yesterday's newspaper....

    UFC fighter flunks drug test
    Leopoldo gets six-month ban for steroid use


    UFC fighter flunks drug test
    Leopoldo gets six-month ban for steroid use


    Heavyweight Kimo Leopoldo tested positive for steroids after his Ultimate Fighting Championships bout June 19 at Mandalay Bay, dealing the fledgling mixed martial arts organization "a devastating blow."

    Leopoldo is the third UFC fighter in two years to test positive for an anabolic agent, following former heavyweight champions Josh Barnett and Tim Sylvia.

    The Nevada Athletic Commission on Wednesday fined Leopoldo $5,000 and suspended him for six months. He cannot fight until he submits a clean urinalysis.

    Leopoldo tested positive for the steroid Stanozolol, as well as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine, after his June 19 loss to Ken Shamrock. Leopoldo's telephone would not accept calls Friday.

    UFC president Dana White said he was distraught and angry when he learned of Leopoldo's positive test, adding that Leopoldo had fought a K1 bout without any problems before the UFC fight.

    The perception that UFC fighters routinely take steroids, White said, is wrong and is hurting the organization.

    "It's a huge blow, a devastating blow," White said. "The bottom line is, we invest a lot of money in our fighters trying to promote them and build them. We're building a brand and when something like this happens, it's devastating. It's a huge black eye for our sport."

    Barnett was the first UFC fighter to test positive for steroids after his successful title bid against then-heavyweight champion Randy Couture on March 22, 2002. The commission suspended Barnett for six months after a contentious July 26, 2002, hearing in which he denied using illegal substances.

    Sylvia, at the time the UFC's unbeaten heavyweight champion, tested positive for Stanozolol after his Sept. 26 victory over Gan McGee. Sylvia relinquished the title and was suspended for four months at an Oct. 15 hearing in which he admitted using steroids to try to improve his physique.

    White said he can't understand how fighters keep testing positive even though they know Nevada tests for steroids. But White denied steroids are solely a UFC problem.

    "This doesn't do us any good, and we're not condoning it at all, but the point is, it's epidemic throughout professional sports," he said. "It's rampant. It's a very hard problem to contain, but we're trying to control it by letting the fighters know we won't use them if they do this."

    The UFC did use Sylvia after his positive test, in a June 19 fight that Las Vegan Frank Mir won for the vacant heavyweight title.

    But White said Sylvia's case was different because of how he handled his positive test. Barnett never admitted he used steroids and claimed he took only an over-the-counter supplement.

    Sylvia was apologetic, admitted his offense and gave up his title voluntarily -- which is why he got another chance, White said. But he said the company will have little tolerance in the future.

    "Bottom line, guys have to learn to play by the rules, or they're done with us," White said.

    Fighters in all championship bouts are tested. On nontitle fight cards, the commission randomly tests two to four fighters.