Texas revokes Ken Shamrock’s fight license

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ken Shamrock failed a drug test administered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) for a fight with fellow UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie at Bellator 149 on February 19, 2016 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Shamrock tested positive for both nandrolone and methadone. The Performance Enhancing Drug nandrolone is an anabolic steroid, while methadone is used as a pain reliever and as part of drug addiction detoxification regimen. His testosterone to epitestosterone ratio was 12.4:1; anything above 4:1 is prohibited in Texas.

Shamrock also lost the fight, claiming a low blow. The fighter appealed the loss; the status of that appeal is unknown. Shamrock also appealed the doping test failure, claiming the failures were due to medications prescribed for a pituitary gland condition. That appeal was dropped on July 11, and Shamrock accepted a $2,500 fine, and suspension through March 4, 2017.

The UFC has pays for an independent body, USADA, to conduct independent PED tests, and suspend fighters. The fighters remain under contract with the UFC, and cannot fight anywhere in the world. UFC fighters are also subject to testing, fines and suspension from regulating State, Provincial, or Tribal government athletic commissions. Bellator MMA does not use an independent body, so the test was administered by the TDLR, which theoretically only applies in Texas. However, member commissions of the Association of Boxing Commissions honor suspensions, so Shamrock will not be fighting anywhere in North America. He could theoretically fight overseas in Japan for example, where there is no regulating body, but it would be looked upon darkly if he subsequently applied for a license anywhere in North America.

Ken Shamrock

Shamrock stopped fighting in 2010, but returned vs Kimbo Slice, losing via strikes in 144 seconds. Then he lost via strikes to Royce Gracie, also in 144 seconds.

And then he failed a PED test for the second time. Shamrock’s first doping failure was vs. Ross Clifton February 13, 2009. At 52, with a record of just 2-9 in the past decade plus, looking at his second suspension for doping, this would be a great time for the pioneering fighter to consider transitioning to coaching, commentating, or other efforts where no trained professional is trying to hurt him.