Former UFC champion Lyoto Machida’s case with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has been a very public one. Several months ago, USADA approached Machida for a random out-of-competion drug test. Machida disclosed that he had been taking a supplement called 7-Keto, which resulted in an anti-doping policy violation.
Machida was handed an 18-month suspension, which didn’t sit too well with ‘The Dragon’ as he repeatedly blamed USADA for the infraction, claiming that he wasn’t properly informed on the fact that the supplement is on the banned substance list. Machida then went as far as to say that he believed USADA was ruining the UFC.
In an interview with MMAFighting, USADA spokesman Ryan Madden opened up on the situation, firing back at Machida’s comments that he was uninformed, saying:
“I think this is probably the most important point that we need to talk about. We’ve read some of the headlines out there the last few day, and we should be very clear about this: the idea that Mr. Machida wasn’t properly educated is just flat-out false.
Keep in mind that when this program was first put in to place we understood that for a lot of the fighters this was going to be a culture change - most of whom had never been exposed to an anti-doping program of this nature before - so the first six months of the program was focused almost exclusively on educating athletes, with limited testing.”
Madden went on to explain that Machida was invited to a webinar when the USADA program was released in July of 2015, however neither Machida or a member of his team attended the webinar. In addition, Machida completed two training programs that were available to him in Portuguese, his native language.
“Further, that January, we sent out information on updates to the Prohibited List, as well as dietary supplement information a month later with link to our primary resources.
He also was sent a pre-event reminder in March that guided him towards further educational resources.
So while it may be a convenient sound bite to say, “well, I didn’t know” or “I wasn’t educated enough” the reality is that as an organization we can only provide athletes with the resources and the information to be successful. How seriously they take it, how engaged they choose to be in the process, and how diligent they choose to be in their actions is up to them. And if athletes are going to delegate out these educational responsibilities, they have to stay engaged.
So yeah, Lyoto Machida was given everything he needed from an education standpoint - as are all other athletes - to be successful in this program.”