Mike Kogan, who oversees Lawal’s business affairs, recently told MMAWeekly.com he hopes the aftermath of the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion’s steroid accusation will allow other athletes to study up on which supplements are harmful and metabolize banned substances.
“We were very transparent about all of this and the biggest reason was because we want to make sure people have a chance to do their own research,” Kogan told MMAWeekly.com.
Following the Nevada State Athletic Commission announcement that Lawal had drostanolone, an anabolic steroid, in his system after his Jan. 7 Strikeforce fight against Lorenz Larkin, King Mo quickly denied knowingly taking performance enhancing drugs. “I didn’t take nothing,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “Drostanolone, I don’t even know what that is!”
Lawal later declared a supplement by the name of S-Mass Lean Gainer was the source of his positive drostanolone test, but said he wasn’t aware prior to taking it that the supplement would spring the positive test.
Kogan has since advised there will be no appeal made to the athletic commission, as they do not contest the findings of the governing body. He feels, however, other factors should weigh in on what Lawal’s punishment should be in wake of the positive test.
“We accept that there’s going to be some kind of punishment,” Kogan said. “Are there contributing factors that we feel the commission should at least consider? Absolutely.”
The contributing factors Kogan referred to stem from the availability of information. The manager is unable to confirm steroid details on S-Mass Lean Gainer were readily available at the time King Mo purchased the product from Max Muscle in April 2010. He compared the availability of information to that of a narcotic that made its boom a few decades ago.
“We do not know (if there was) information available at the time,” Kogan said, referring to when Lawal purchased the supplement. “When cocaine was first found to be illegal, six months prior to that, there was no information anywhere that (said) it was illegal or bad for you. And then we found out it’s bad for you. Now, there’s plenty of information.
“The problem is that these materials and this research and information usually becomes available retroactively, not proactively, not ahead of time.”
Kogan said the way to prevent things like his client’s positive test from happening in the future is through regulation. The Food and Drug Administration must be involved in the production and marketing of supplements in order to minimize steroid use, according to Kogan. But he sees lobbyists getting in the way of making such a thing happen.
“Can this be prevented? Yes, it can be prevented by regulation through the FDA,” he said. “But then they have to take on the big lobbying group of the nutrition companies.”
Kogan, much like his fighter, is adamant that no willful cheating was done. By not filing an appeal, he says King Mo is owning up to what he did and admits to taking a supplement that caused the positive test, but didn’t take the supplement with an intention to gain an anabolic edge. He hopes there will be opportunity for the next guy to learn from Lawal’s dilemma and prevent history from repeating itself.
Admittedly, Kogan says some athletes cheat, but others get caught for doing something they had no intention of doing.
“Mo is guilty and will face up to what he does and (he) will move on,” he said. “But then there will be a ‘next Mo’ and then a ‘Mo’ after that. And every time that happens, an athlete’s name gets tainted. Some of them do it on purpose, but a lot of them don’t. Not everyone is guilty of intentionally doing this.”