USADA is ended or ruined plenty of careers…
Some say USADA is cleaning up the sport and others say they are ruining it. Where one stands on the issue usually depends on who their favorite fighters are and how much they enjoyed PRIDE.
While it may be true fighters today are less juiced to the gills, USADA has also canceled numerous high-profile bouts and ended the careers of many legendary fighters. Sure the sport is cleaned up but is it as enjoyable?
A few notes before we begin this article. There are two names which USADA clearly KTFO who are not listed below: Ricardo Abreu and Francisco Rivera. Abreu and Rivera are the only MMA fighters thus far to receive 4-year suspensions since the start of the USADA program.
Rivera attempted to claim he ate tainted meat in Mexico and Abreu called it quits and retired. While both fighters have essentially had their careers ended, neither was doing particularly well anyway. As a result, we decided to focus on fighters whose careers were more high-profile, the fighters who had careers of a higher value before they were ruined.
Here are 5 fighters who USADA KTFO:
5. Lyoto Machida
Lyoto Machida is a veteran, former champion, and has made numerous positive contributions to martial arts and MMA. So when Machida informed USADA he had taken a supplement, THEA, he has since learned is prohibited you would think some leniency could be granted.
Machida, upon learning one of his supplements is banned, turned himself in. THEA can be picked up at any supplement store and Machida said he didn’t know it was banned. As soon as he learned it was he let USADA know so one would think the punishment would be light but that was not the case.
USADA opted to suspend Machida for 1.5 years, making him almost 40 before he was able to fight again. Meanwhile, had he just not informed USADA he might have gotten away with it…
4. Josh Barnett
Josh Barnett has been failing drug tests since way before it was hip. Barnett would fail even the most easily passable tests, like the ones on fight night when he knows he’s going to be tested. It’s not that Barnett was taking more steroids than the other guys during his heyday but he was getting caught more often.
Barnett is now 40 and his MMA career appears over. He failed a USADA test in December 2016 and is expected to eventually receive a 4-year suspension. What is holding up the whole process is Barnett is refusing to work with USADA.
“I end up no matter what at the mercy of USADA,” he said. “And to be honest, I don’t trust them in any way, shape or form. I have no interest to work with them or be a part of their program.
“I would be willing to do anything else but work with USADA at this point. When you can’t trust someone, what are you supposed to do? Continue to give them the opportunity to break your trust? They don’t seem responsible enough to have oversight over my career.”