First-time offender Alex Nicholson receives 4-year suspension from NAC, fined over 15K

Alex Nicholson
Image via @spartanlife32 on Instagram (photographer not listed)

PFL light heavyweight and former UFC fighter Alex Nicholson has hit a major snag in his MMA career.

On Wednesday, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) held their monthly meeting. Alex Nicholson was a point of discussion as the fighter allegedly tested positive for multiple banned substances on a recent drug test. The test in question was administered for his Francimar Barroso bout at a PFL event on October 31. The results concluded the positive use of three banned substances, drostanolone, nandrolone and trenbolone, in addition to an elevated T/E ratio.

According to NAC, Nicholson was notified by the commission’s attorney but elected not to respond to the complaint. He did not attend or comment on Wednesday’s hearing. Despite a lack of response to the commission, Nicholson denied any wrongdoing in a statement to MMA Fighting.

“Never have or would I take a banned substance, and after years and competing and being tested, why would it even make sense for me to show up knowing how everything goes down after years of commitment and get everything taken from me?” he commented.

“Just doesn’t make sense, either way you look at it.”

Due to the conclusive test result and lack of cooperation, Nicholson has been fined 60 per cent of his fight purse, equaling $15,000. He has also been suspended for four years by the commission and received an additional fine of $363.40 to cover NAC’s legal fees.

In traditional anti-doping cases, the commission will deliver a penalty of 9 to 24 months for first-time offenders (and a 30 percent fine). Due to the severity of Nicholson’s case and the trio of positive results, his offence was deemed significant by the “aggravated factors,”

The aggravated circumstances can impact the maximum suspension or fine for an offence. As a result, the organization concluded that Nicholson’s case warranted a larger punishment, and chose to deliver a penalty double that of their usual protocol.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/19/2019.