JDS rep: Test result too low to have diuretic effect
Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos was recently informed that an anti-doping test was flagged; he was pulled from a scheduled with Franci Ngannou at UFC 215 on September 9 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The fighter’s rep Ana Claudia Guedes revealed that the test was flagged for Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic. While 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 use of performance enhancing drugs.
We now have the official copy of Junior’s August 10 urine test. The level of hydrochlorothiazide listed on his USADA result was “low.” Additionally, the specific gravity reading of Junior’s urine sample was 1.025, indicating that the sample was not diluted. We understand the concentrated urine sample to mean that the low level of hydrochlorothiazide in Junior’s system had no diuretic effect on his sample.
We are learning about some recent anti-doping cases where low levels of hydrochlorothiazide have been the result of supplement contamination, and even contaminated ground water. A 2016 study published by the National Institutes of Health found that over-the-counter NSAIDs left hydrochlorothiazide traces (See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27611956/).
Our goal now is simply to determine the unintended source of the hydrochlorothiazide. To that end, we have identified two nutritional supplements that Junior recently began using–neither of which show hydrochlorothiazide anywhere on their respective labels or ingredient lists– and are working with USADA to test both. Hopefully that gets us answers.
All drug tests that Junior has taken–both prior to and post implementation of the USADA program–have been negative, including blood and urine samples he provided on July 10 of this year. He prides himself on being a clean athlete, and looks forward to resolving this matter.
The fighter too spoke about the test, via his social network.
“Hey Everyone, I am here at home,” he began. “Look, I’m not here to give any explanation. Soon, everything will be clear to all of you and no doubts – truth will prevail. I’m here in respect for all of you guys. I just want to say that this situation is very tough for me, my team, and my family. And I would never cheat. It goes against everything I stand for. I play the fair game. We will get to the bottom of this – figure out what happened, learn from it and move on. And I hope in the near future, Francis Ngannou and me can face each other and give you guys the show you were expecting for. For now, thank you very much for your support. It means a lot to me, and that’s why I’m here. Good night.
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. There will be a full process to determine the source of the failed test; unfortunately, it has to be conducted responsibly, which means it takes time, likely several months. In the mean time, assume he is innocent.