Alexander Shlemenko is reportedly the latest big name fighter to fail a drug test, as the former Bellator middleweight champ has allegedly tested positive for an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio.
According to the initial report from MMA Junkie.com, sources have informed the outlet that Shlemenko tested for an elevated T/E ratio, following his memorable stoppage win over Melvin Manhoef on February 13th. Bellator President Scott Coker also released this statement:
“We are disappointed to hear about the results of Shlemenko’s drug test,” Coker said. “As I’ve stated previously, performance enhancing drugs have no place in this sport, and Bellator fully supports the commission in enforcing harsh penalties to deter fighters from taking banned substances.”
The California State Athletic Commission has also confirmed the test results with MMA Fighting.com, and has announced that Shlemenko has been suspended indefinitely and fined $2,500. The stoppage win over Manhoef, which came via a spinning backfist, has also reportedly been overturned to a no contest.
So there you have it. While Shlemenko may not be the global MMA star that Anderson Silva is, the Russian fighter is unquestionably one of Bellator’s top and most exciting fighters. Losing him for nine months or more is going to hurt.
The news is also a considerable setback for “Storm”, as he had scored consecutive, stoppage victories over Yasubey Enonomoto and Manhoef, after dropping back-to-back bouts to Brandon Halsey and Tito Ortiz. Following the win over Manhoef, Shlemenko called for a rematch with Halsey, who ended the fighter’s reign as middleweight champ and snapped his 13 fight winning streak.
Bellator 135 is set to take place on March 27th in Thackerville, Oklahoma and will feature bantamweight champ Joe Warren taking on Marcos Galvao. The main card will be broadcast on SPIKE.
(Update: in a follow up report, the CSAC has confirmed to MMA Junkie.com that Shlemenko has been suspended for two drug violations. No details regarding the substances etc, however, were disclosed)