Former UFC champion Lyoto Machida has accepted a lengthy suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, but that doesn’t mean he agrees with it.
USADA announced on Wednesday that Machida had accepted an 18-month suspension for an anti-doping policy violation after declaring the use of a prohibited substance and subsequently testing positive for the use of that substance.
The violation stems from an April 8, 2016, out-of-competition sample collection prior to UFC on FOX 19. Machida declared the use of a product containing 7‐keto-dehydroepiandrosterone (7‐keto‐DHEA) on his sample collection paperwork and tested positive for it. 7‐keto‐DHEA is a prohibited substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the WADA Prohibited List.
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Following the news of his suspension, Machida released the following statement on Friday via his Facebook page:
I received a suspension from USADA with my head held up high, even though I don’t agree with it.
I reiterate that I never had any problem in all my career and always collaborated with USADA. I hoped that the fact that I spontaneously declared which substance I ingested would be taken into consideration. I have always been an honest and transparent person, something that I learned since a young age from my father Yoshizo.
The supplement I took, 7-Keto, can be sold anywhere, which reforces the fact that it’s not used for performance enhancement. As I said before, I took it to lower stress levels, as I was coming off two losses and had not fought in some time. By no means did I imagine that the substance could be banned by USADA. The information relayed to the athletes were insufficient. The full list of all prohibited supplements, in an easier way to read, I only received via text message, this week, on the day after my suspension. The previous formats were not clear. To teach and educate should also be the duties of an institution that is committed to the advancement of a clean sport and not only for punishing.
Unfortunately USADA did not see my honesty, which was always my priority. I believe that if I had been tried by the athletic commission I would have been heard and would have had a different outcome.
I live now, more than ever, through the teachings of my father summarized by the Japanese trial NASEBA NARU, which means, “Where there is will, there is a way.” Whenever my father faced a difficult situation and asked my grandfather about how to face it, the answer was always the same: you must just believe, work hard and not give up in face of any obstacles.
That is why all of my attention is turned to the new Machida Karate gym I opened in Lomita, California, along with my brother Chinzo. I have a degree in Physical Education, I am a martial artist and it has been a pleasure to pass along the principles that I learned and value. I am teaching class and want to pass not only technique, but the moral values that I have carried since a young age, to the kids and teenagers who will train at the gym, including honesty and professional ethics. Our Machida Karate philosophy is to always have truth and respect above all.
So, I keep on training, because training is my life and I will not interrupt my training at any time. I thank my fans for the support and reiterate my desire to return to the Octagon.