Friday, December 29, 2017

Veteran heavyweight James Thompson has failed a test for the steroid drostanolone, administered by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation director Mike Mazzulli at Bellator 191 in Newcastle, England, on December 15. Thompson, 39, lost to Philip De Fries at the event, via submission in Round 1.

Thompson, 39, faces a one-year suspension and $2,000 fine. In order to be licensed to fight again after the suspension, which is retroactive to the event date, he will have to test clean. Thompson has the right to appeal.

There is no government regulatory body in the UK, so Thompson may have believed he wouldn’t face testing. However, when the Viacom-owned Bellator MMA holds international events, regulation is overseen by Mazzulli, who also serves as president of the Association of Boxing Commissions.

Athletic Commission PED testing efforts were historically regarded more as an IQ test than a means to catch drug cheats. If you know you will only be tested during an event, most fighters were sophisticated enough to use specific drugs on a schedule that meant they were clean on the designated date. However, the most progressive regulators like California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster and Mazzulli also conduct comprehensive, random, out of competition testing.

Mazzulli said tests were administered as well at Bellator 190 which took place in Florence, Italy on December 9. Bellator middleweight champ Rafael Carvalho, Carlos Miranda, and Alessio Sakara all tested clean.