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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

PEDs

Brock Lesnar failed in competition drug test for same substance

Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar’s positive drug test from June 28 was not the only failed drug test he had prior to his UFC 200 win over Mark Hunt in Las Vegas.

USADA announced on Tuesday that Lesnar also failed an in-competition drug test the day of the fight for the same substance. In-competition drug tests take place in the 12 hours before a fight.

When allowing Lesnar to fight less than a month in advance, the UFC waived a rule that would have had Lesnar placed in a testing pool and forced to wait four months before being approved to fight. He was drug tested heavily almost to make up for lost time. USADA says Lesnar was tested eight times. He passed the first five tests but failed a June 28 sample and then his in-competition test.

Lesnar faces discipline from the Nevada State Athletic Commission over the failed tests, which could include a two-year ban. The rash of penalties could spell the end of Lesnar’s MMA career. He is 39 and came back from nearly a five-year layoff to fight Hunt.

Jon Jones on Twitter: I know in my heart I am not a cheater

Jon Jones crying

Jon Jones is emphatic that despite failing a drug test prior to his scheduled UFC 200 fight against Daniel Cormier he is not a cheater.

The UFC announced just days before the UFC 200 card that Jones had failed an out-of-competition drug test on June 16, and they pulled him from his scheduled fight. Jones later expressed great sorrow over the failed test and said he couldn’t even pronounce the name of the substance for which he tested positive. USADA announced that Jones tested positive for two estrogen blockers — substances often associated with steroids cycles.

Despite the positive test, Jones is adamant that he did not cheat. His tweets in response to some folks on Twitter seem to suggest he ingested a tainted supplement:

Jones also said he had sent samples to the lab for analysis, likely in an effort to determine if any product he was taking was tainted.

Even if he never did intend to cheat, Jones, like all athletes, is responsible for everything he puts in his body and should make sure the products are clean before using them in order to avoid these situations.

Rick Porcello: MLB drug testing program has ‘failed’

rick-porcello

There is definitely an undercurrent of dissatisfaction among some Major League players with regards to how the league’s drug program works.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello is the latest to speak against it, saying that the policy has “failed” to deter players from using performance enhancing drugs.

“I’m all in favor for (stiffer penalties),” Porcello said, via Christian Red of the New York Daily News. “Obviously what’s going on right now is not preventing guys from doing it. This year, there’s a guy that literally tested positive three times. That’s obviously not effective. I’m all in favor for a much, much more severe punishment or a lifetime ban. At the end of the day, it’s looking like that’s the only thing that’s going to keep guys from doing it. If that ever happens, we’ll find out if that’s even enough. There’s no right or wrong answer right now, but I think there at least needs to be some adjustments for sure.”

Porcello, who lost a one game playoff for a division title back in 2009 with the Tigers, is not pleased that players who have tested positive can impact games while their appeals are pending.

“I know I’m working my tail off every day to do it the right way, and I’m playing against guys that are testing positive and it’s directly impacting myself, our team, potential playoff chances and all those implications,” Porcello said. “I just don’t think that that’s right. Not a lot of guys have said stuff to me, but that was one instance where somebody came up and said, ‘I disagree with you.’ But I still stand by my comments in saying I disagree with what’s going on right now — if a guy tests positive, he should not be able to appeal and continue to play. I think that’s the worst-case scenario. There’s nothing to stand by with what (commissioner Rob Manfred) is talking about. It’s failed.”

Porcello says he understands due process, and frankly, it has to be that way. Players have had their suspensions overturned, albeit under questionable circumstances, and they have to give players that right. MLB operates under the principle of innocent until proven guilty. One of Porcello’s former teammates agrees with his opinion, but there’s not much you can do.

Chael Sonnen: Jon Jones tested positive for estrogen blockers

Jon Jones crying

Jon Jones was pulled from UFC 200 after failing a drug test weeks before the event. The interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion was contrite after his positive test — which was later confirmed with a “B” sample — and said he didn’t even know how to pronounce the substance he tested positive for. But a few MMA insiders have some insight about his failed test.

Last week UFC fighter Rashad Evans said Jones tested positive for estrogen blockers. Chael Sonnen said the same thing Monday on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

This is unconfirmed information at this point and has not been sourced by actual reporters nor confirmed by USADA — the drug testing agency employed by the UFC.

Estrogen blockers are considered banned substances because they can be used in conjunction with a steroids cycle. Since an athlete taking steroids would have more testosterone in the body, that would lead to a production of more estrogen (a female hormone that can lead to the production of fat and breasts), which is unwanted for male athletes, hence the estrogen blockers.

Jeff Francoeur: Players want stiffer penalties for PED use

Jeff-Francoeur

Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur wants Major League Baseball to punish performance-enhancing drug users more severely, and the 12-year veteran says he is not alone.

In an appearance on Buster Olney’s “ESPN’s Baseball Tonight” podcast Thursday, Francoeur estimated that 90 percent of MLB players are in favor of stiffer PED penalties.

“The system is flawed,” Francoeur said, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “There’s no other way around it. Guys get docked 80 games (pay) or whatever it is. Yeah, that’s a lot of money. But if you sign a $60 million deal and you’re losing maybe $5 million, it’s worth it for a lot of these guys. It stinks because there are buddies of mine who were basically battling these guys for jobs. It’s just unfair.”

Francoeur said he knows some PED users and likes them on a personal level, but he still considers them cheaters.

“I know a lot of guys that have been busted, and they’re good people,” he said. “I like them a lot. But at the end of the day, they’re cheating the system.”

The current joint drug-testing program calls for an 80-game suspension for a first-time violation, 162 games for the second offense and a lifetime ban for the third. A dozen MLB players have already been suspended this season, with plenty more getting penalized under baseball’s minor league drug agreement

While the goal of the MLB Players Association is to keep power away from the league, Francoeur believes the players may have to cede control in this instance.

“We stand our ground on a lot of issues, whether it’s arbitration or free-agency rights. We fight hard for that as a union,” he said. “But you’re probably looking at 90 percent of players that want stiffer penalties on PEDs. I think we have to start listening to the majority of the players, and not the other way around.”

Earlier this season, Justin Verlander went off about PED penalties and called for them to be more harsh. You can read his tweet here.

Some will argue that there are instances where a player legitimately doesn’t know he took something that was on MLB’s banned substance list. Should players be banned for life in those situations, or do they deserve another chance? That has, and will continue to be, the biggest debate.

Photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Jones’ failed drug test likely not due to cocaine

Jon Jones

UFC 200 was thrown into a frenzy on Wednesday night when it was revealed that Jon Jones failed an out-of-competition drug test, leading to the UFC to remove him from his scheduled fight against Daniel Cormier on Saturday.

Jones’ failed test stemmed from a June 16 sample collected by USADA. The sample was taken three weeks ago and considered “out-of-competition,” which is different from in-competition. Typically in-competition samples are regarded as ones taken the day of or week leading up to a fight. The range of products that could trigger a positive sample for an in-competition drug test is much greater than out of competition tests.

USADA does not ban recreational drugs such as cocaine, heroine, marijuana etc out of competition. Nor do they ban narcotics like morphine or amphetamines like ritalin out of competition.

That means a positive test was likely triggered by something like a steroid, hormone, diuretic, IV or anything else associated with performance-enhancers.

Now why would people think cocaine when it comes to a failed drug test for Jones? He tested positive for coke a month before his last fight against Cormier in Jan. 2015 and ended up going to rehab (for a day). Some are speculating that his positive test could have been triggered by a tainted supplement.

Glove touch to Bloody Elbow

O.J. Mayo dismissed from NBA for violating league anti-drug program

OJ Mayo

O.J. Mayo has been dismissed and disqualified from the NBA after violating the terms of the league’s anti-drug program, the NBA announced Friday.

Mayo, who is currently a free agent, will be allowed to apply for reinstatement in two years under the terms of the league’s policy.

Mayo was suspended for 10 games back in 2011 for use of a banned substance. The league is not at liberty to disclose whatever led to his current ban.

Mayo was once the top recruit in the country and was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 draft – one pick ahead of Russell Westbrook, in fact. The 28-year-old has also played for Dallas and most recently Milwaukee. He has averaged 13.8 points per game over the course of an eight year career that, relative to expectations, has been underwhelming, especially when you consider that the most notable thing that happened to him last year was scuffling with Draymond Green.

The most recent comparison to be made here is that of Chris Andersen, who was also booted from the NBA for drug use back in 2006. He served his time, was reinstated after two years, and has carved out a solid career for himself without getting into any further off-court trouble. We will see if Mayo can do the same.