The UFC today announced that middleweight Chris Leben has been suspended by the UFC after testing positive for the steroid stanazolol following his unanimous decision loss to Michael Bisping last month at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England.
The UFC handed down a nine month suspension for the violation and also fined him one-third of his purse.
“I am obviously disappointed with Chris, who has made great strides getting his life back on track,” said UFC President Dana White. “To his credit, he has taken responsibility for his actions and is accepting the punishment that has been handed down. But as always, the UFC puts the safety of its athletes first and foremost, and we won’t tolerate anyone using performance enhancing drugs in our organization.”
“I’ve really done everything I can to turn my life around, and this is a huge setback for me, but it is something I will have to deal with,” said Leben. “During my time off from fighting, I want to speak to kids about the dangers of using performance enhancing agents and let them know it just doesn’t get you ahead in life. Of course this is a hard hit for me monetarily, but more so this is embarrassing for me and for all of my fans. I apologize to the UFC and everyone who supported me in my fight in England. I hope to work through this and get back to fighting soon.”
Because the UK has no athletic commission which oversees mixed martial arts events in the coutry, the UFC administered their own drug tests for the event. The promotion opted to test all 22 fighters, with the remaining 21 fighters who participated on the October 18th card passing their pre- and post-fight drug tests.