by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has suspended fighter Chris Leben for nine months and fined him one-third of his fight purse following a positive drug test for the steroid Stanazolol after his loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 89 in England in October. The news was reported by Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports.
The UFC has long stood by drug testing of the athletes competing for the promotion, even overseas in England where they have no formal athletic commission to handle the process.
At these events, the UFC leans on former head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and now UFC vice president, Marc Ratner, to handle the duties normally handled by an overseeing committee like the athletic commissions in the United States.
Leben has never tested positive before, but this is still a major setback in his career.
“I am obviously disappointed with Chris, who has made great strides getting his life back on track,” UFC president Dana White told Meltzer. “To his credit, he has taken responsibility for his actions and is accepting the punishment that has been handed down. But as always, the UFC puts the safety of its athletes first and foremost, and we won’t tolerate anyone using performance enhancing drugs in our organization.”
According to the report, the UFC tested all 22 athletes on the card before and after the fights, and Leben to date is the only fighter who has tested positive for illegal substances.