The California State Athletic Commission yesterday released information verifying that former NFL star Johnnie Morton’s pre-fight drug test had come back positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
Today, the CSAC released further test results revealing that Royce Gracie has tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone Metabolite. Gracie defeated Kazushi Sakuraba by unanimous decision at the K-1 Dynamite show on June 2nd in Los Angeles, California.
Gracie has been suspended for approximately 12 months from the date of the fight (through May 30, 2008). He has also been fined $2,500, which is currently the maximum penalty allowable in California and which represents approximately 0.8 percent of Gracie’s $300,000 purse. Gracie has 30 days to appeal his suspension and seek a disciplinary hearing if he so chooses.
When asked yesterday if the official fight result would be changed to “no decision” if any fighter wins a fight in California and then tests positive for steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, the California State Athletic Commission’s Bill Douglas told MMAWeekly, “Currently, our rules do not support overturning a decision based off the drug test results. However, Armando [Garcia] and I are meeting with the AG [Attorney General] next month to begin the process of modifying the existing laws to incorporate those rules for the future. Should everything move along like I anticipate, I would expect to see the changes in place by the end of the year.”
If K-1/FEG or any other MMA company with a license to promote shows in California were to allow Gracie to fight anywhere in the world during his CSAC drug suspension, that company could face revocation of their license to promote shows in California.
The same is true for any MMA promotion that uses Hong-Man Choi or Antonio Silva, both of whom were denied licenses to fight in California on medical grounds, due to tumors near their pituitary glands. The CSAC’s Bill Douglas tells MMAWeekly that if a promotion places a “denied” athlete such as Choi or Silva in a fight, “We have a problem. If the promoter is licensed with California and they knowingly placed a ‘denied’ athlete in a fight, then the promoter is looking at having their promoter’s license suspended, they are looking at a fine, or they could possibly have their promoter’s license revoked.”
K-1 has announced that Choi will be fighting on a K-1 event in Hong Kong on July 29th, which could jeopardize K-1’s ability to hold any additional shows in California in the future.
Morton’s punishment has not yet been handed down, but he may face revocation of his license to fight in California. Because he refused to take his post-fight drug test, Morton’s $100,000 fight purse has been temporarily withheld until disciplinary action is determined.
Prior to Gracie and Morton’s positive test results, heavyweight fighter Tim Persey, who fought on the EliteXC portion of the event televised on Showtime, tested positive for methamphetamine. He was subsequently fined $1,000, equal to five percent of his $20,000 fight purse, and suspended for six months.
The following fighters tested negative for all banned substances at K-1 Dynamite: Brock Lesnar, Min Soo Kim, Kazushi Sakuraba, Bernard Ackah, Jake Shields, Ido Pariente, Jonathan Wiezorek, Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, Nam Phan, Katsuhiko Nagata, Isaiah Hill, Hideo Tokoro, Brad Pickett, Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga, Ruben “Warpath” Villarreal, Dong Sik Yoon, and Melvin Manhoef.