Tim Means is maintaining his innocence in the wake of a potential drug testing violation under the USADA anti-doping policy, and insisted on Thursday that the violation must be from a lab error or a tainted supplement.
Means was set to face Donald Cerrone later this month at UFC Fight Night 83, getting replaced by Alex Oliveira on Thursday due to this drug test result. In an interview with MMAFighting.com, Means said he never knowingly took any banned substance, and is having a very hard time understanding how he’s been put in this position.
“I’m losing sleep over this because I don’t know where it’s at,” Means said. “I don’t know whether something was tainted or it was a supplement. That’s the thing that’s annoying me, that I can’t put my finger on it.
“And if you look at my backstory, I own up to everything I do wrong. If I made a mistake in a fight, I live up to it. I don’t blame my coaches. I made a mistake with drug possession in the past and drug abuse in the past – I accepted those responsibilities and had to admit to it. I don’t have problems admitting to my issues, and this is not one of my issues. I ingested something accidentally or it’s a botched lab test on their part.”
With a supplement potentially being to blame for this particular result, Means said it’s something he might cut out entirely moving forward.
“I’m on Intek, it’s a company I’ve been with for years now,” Means said. “They’ve always been supportive. It’s a supplement I trusted, that I’ve been drug tested on before. It just came right out of left field, man. I can’t even be mad. I just have to backtrack and try to think of what turn did I take to get to this point?
“It’s not making sense for sure, man. It’s not my style to cut corners, it’s not my style to point the figure and not take responsibility for the things I do wrong. I’m not sorry in this instance. I haven’t done anything wrong. I did not intentionally ingest an anabolic agent…I think I’m completely done with supplements, man. I’ll get it through food and take my chances with nutrition that way.”
The 31-year-old is insisting that his B sample be tested, and he’s going to work through the appeals process with USADA. While the future could be bleak given what would be a lengthy suspension, Means is staying optimistic that things will work out in his favor.
“The judgement doesn’t seem fair for me having to sit out and watch,” Means said. “I understand USADA’s concern. But yesterday I was fighting. I had my mind set to get in a scrap here soon, and now I have to turn that mindset off and settle back down to my roots of responsibility here at home.
I just have to let everything play out, man. People are jumping the gun, you know, making me guilty right away, but I’ve been in these situations before – maybe not with this type of issue – but with other issues where I was sitting in a jail cell and I’m being judged before found innocent. Things work out, life moves on, and I’m expecting the best out of this.”
Penick’s Analysis: The problem with the supplement complaint is that their use is already discouraged because of the potential for this very thing. Fighters are responsible for what they put into their bodies, especially under this type of stringent drug testing policy, and using something which is highly unregulated and potentially contains banned substances off label is inviting that risk. Means wouldn’t be the first, and he won’t be the last, but it’s not necessarily going to be anything that plays in his favor. It’s a really unfortunate spot if he did indeed not intentionally take any performance enhancers, but barring a clean result on his B sample to show some type of lab error, he’s essentially screwed here.
[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]
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