Junior dos Santos ultimately received a much shorter suspension from USADA, than what he was initially facing. But that doesn’t mean the former UFC champ’s cool with what’s gone down.
Recently the organization announced that dos Santos had received a reduced, six month suspension, and that he was cleared to fight again. Dos Santos was supposed to battle Francis Ngannou last September, in what would have been a pivotal and big fight for the Brazilian star. But, after JDS tested positive for the banned substance hydrocholorothiazide, he was sent to the sidelines.
“Cigano”, however, denied that he ever knowingly used performance enhancing drugs, however. Just recently, USADA announced it had determined the positive tests were due to contaminated supplements JDS had taken. Well, the heavy handed fighter recently appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and here is some of what dos Santos had to say about USADA’s procedures (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“They stopped my whole career to investigate the thing,” dos Santos said. “I think that goes in the completely opposite direction of the law. I’m innocent until proven guilty. In this case, it’s different — you’re guilty until you’re proven innocent. So, yeah. This is not good, man. Especially in my case, that I knew I didn’t do anything wrong and I was going all through this situation. It was a very bad feeling.”
“…Based on those numbers, on those things, in my mind USADA would be the organization that know that I’m not a cheater,” dos Santos said. “But it wasn’t like that. I still went through this whole investigation, this whole scenario and they were putting me as a cheater. It was very bad, man. Now, I hope they can keep a clean sport however they can do that. But they have better rules, better ways to treat the athletes. Because it’s our lives.”
Dos Santos certainly isn’t the only person to criticize how the anti-doping system is working. While most people want to make sure the sport is clean, currently some fighters are being sidelined for doing nothing wrong. Where would JDS be now, if say, he had fought Ngannou and won?
Perhaps USADA should look at implementing different disciplinary guidelines, like say a deferred suspension, for instances where they suspect a fighter may not have knowingly taken PEDs. Then, once the investigation is complete, the flag can be lifted?
All this aside, dos Santos is now booked to fight Blagoy Ivanov on July 14th at UFC Fight Night 133 in Boise, Idaho.