JDS: Trying to identify source of flagged test tearing my soul apart
In August former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos was informed that an anti-doping test has been flagged; he was pulled from a scheduled with Franci Ngannou at UFC 215 on September 9. The fighter’s rep Ana Claudia Guedes revealed that the test was flagged for Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic. While the use of a diuretic is prohibited for cutting weight, that was not relevant at this point in his camp, so it is prohibited for its potential to mask the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The fighter has been unable to determine how the drug came to be in his system, and expressed frustration in an interview with Brazil’s Combate.
““At first I was devastated,” he said, as transcribed by Jesse Holland for MMA Mania. “I’ve been in favor of USADA, I’ve always said how much I support it, how much I want a drugless sport, a fair sport. I’ve always been clean, so my mind is at ease. Everything is under investigation, now, but that’s another problem, because I have no idea where this came from and it’s up to me to prove my innocence and that’s kind of weird. At first I used to think ‘Why is USADA there? For cheaters or for the ones who play by the rules end up as victims?’ I’m obviously a victim of a situation that I don’t what it is. I’m getting major support from USADA and from the UFC in my search for answers. This not knowing is absurd, it eats you up inside, it’s like tearing your soul apart. I’ve always been very vocal about all this, but now the only thing I ask myself is if USADA is there for cheaters or for innocent people who end up in this situation.”
There is a widespread presumption on the part of fans that a flagged test means the fighter was taking performance-enhancing drugs. That is not always the case, at all. JDS has long argued against PEDs in MMA. He did not test for PEDs. He tested for traces of a drug that could be used to hide PEDs. The investigation has been underway for months without a finding. It’s possible that the source will never be identified. It is crucial that fans understand the testing process, and understand that not every flagged test is for a fighter who had a large gauge needle in his ass 24 hours ago. JDS may have had trace elements of something in his body that could theoretically be used to hide the use of PEDs. He shouldn’t lose a single fan over that.