Chad Mendes is out for two years due to a failed drug test for a growth hormone-releasing peptide. In his first public interview since the punishment was handed down, he blamed the test failure on a cream he’d been taking allegedly to treat plaque psoriasis.
“I’ve always just accepted it and put it on, not thinking about anything,” Mendes said on Sacramento’s “The Drive” radio program (via MMAFighting.com). “This is one of the cases that it had something in it that was on the USADA quote-unquote banned list. My situation was just kind of bad luck, I feel. Ultimately, I broke the rules. Did I use it? Of course. I didn’t try going to USADA and making some BS story and tried to lie my way out of it… Two years is a long time, especially in this sport. Especially for a first-time offender. Especially over something that’s not a steroid. I don’t know. It’s a tough situation. There’s rules, they’re set in place and I think USADA is doing a great job on that. I can’t be the one to break a rule and be like, ‘Oh, I want special treatment.’
“…It’s embarrassing, to be honest. This is another reason why I haven’t talked about it. This is super embarrassing to me. I’ve always been the type of guy that’s worked my butt off and trained hard and done things the right way. And for this to come out and now be labeled a quote-unquote juice head, it’s embarrassing man.”
Mendes will be out of the cage until June of 2018, which will make it at least more than a two and half year absence between fights for the former title contender.
Penick’s Analysis: There are creams used to treat psoriasis, so it’s a somewhat plausible explanation, but if that’s the case it’s an insanely reckless and flat-out stupid mistake on Mendes’ part. That’s at best. At worst he’s blaming it on something rather than coming clean even after a two-year suspension was handed down. Fighters have to be aware of everything they’re putting in their bodies in this era of the UFC with USADA testing at full speed. Failure to realize you’re taking a banned substance is going to bring you to the spot in which Mendes now finds himself.
[Photo (c) Joe Camporeale via USA Today Sports]
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