Kevin Lee regrets not clearing his usage of a banned substance with the UFC before his fight which led to a failed drug test.
Kevin Lee received a six-month ban from fighting after a failed drug test showed up with amphetamines in his sample. Chael Sonnen ended up being one of the first to break the story after Lee went directly to him for help.
Lee said: “I went to him first. Chael is the right guy to go to about anything drug-related so I go to him for a lot of advice. He’s one of the guys in this sport I definitely trust a lot.”
Sonnen explained the situation from there, giving the details of the results and explaining how the situation wasn’t as bad as it looked.
“He must get a TUE. A therapeutic use exemption, which would have been a piece of cake. It would have been some forms he fills out, doctor would have signed off on it that ‘yes, I gave him this,’ and we’re not in this spot.
“This is going to be a teachable moment. We get it, Kevin didn’t have bigger, faster, stronger steroids. He took something that a lot of people take and didn’t disclose of it properly.”
Sonnen used the teachable moment to warn other fighters, not just about prescription drugs but anything with surprising banned substances, saying “always get something from somebody in authority, in writing, before you do it or above all, default to Demetrious Johnson and don’t put it in your body unless it’s food or water.”
Lee explains the situation
Lee subsequently spoke to Ariel Helwani where he explained the situation himself.
“I popped for Adderal in my last fight. I didn’t apply for the TUE like I should have. I spoke to [Jeff] Novitzky a couple of months before the fight when I was actually taking the drugs. Told him it was from a doctor and all.
“He told me to apply for a TUE and I thought that I wouldn’t need to because I thought I would get off it soon enough before the fight but I guess I still had a small amount of it still in my system.
“I got a little arrogant in it. I thought that I’d be fine without it and that it would get out of my system much faster.”
Lee said he has been left feeling frustrated and explained that while it didn’t help him in the fight, he could have used it to his advantage had he gone through the proper channels.
“I should have applied for the TUE. I’m still kind of kicking myself in the ass over it because it’s a legit prescription, it’s a legit diagnosis and I think I just went about it in an unprofessional way to get that done.
It’s not a performance enhancer. At least from what I can tell from it from using it. It definitely works. It enhances life for sure and it helped me to solve a lot of issues that I’ve been dealing with for a very long time.
“I don’t necessarily know if it ever helped make me bigger, faster, stronger or even focus more during a fight… I kind of lost focus in the second round and I kind of wish I had been on it.”
Surprisingly kind words offered
While Lee had been expecting more backlash from the situation, he was pleasantly surprised that more people were kind to him after the situation, with some reaching out to share nice words.
“It was definitely embarrassing. I mean I am still a little bit. It was more so embarrassing to tell people what’s actually wrong with you but since I came out with it last week I feel a little bit better. The reception to it has been a little bit better than I expected.
“I was expecting more people to kick me while I was down but I’ve had a whole lotta people that I actually respect that have reached out to me and said they deal with the same issues.
“I think it just doesn’t get talked about a lot. It was a little embarrassing for me to talk about it but I’m less embarrassed about the actual issue itself these days.”
Kevin Lee dumping his Adderall, via his IG.
“I’ll just speak as a human not as a fighter right now. I’ve been embarrassed these last few weeks since knowing this news would come out.” pic.twitter.com/clf7KDz8Uh
— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) October 21, 2021
Kevin Lee on future with the drug
Lee doesn’t expect to continue to use the medication, explaining that he believes his addictive personality isn’t compatible with continuous usage and that he himself resolves to get better without it.
“Honestly, I don’t think dependency on anything is good. I went through four scripts… and about halfway through the second one, I knew that I was going to get off of it.
“I think I can get better with this kind of stuff and eventually get to the point where I don’t need them. I don’t think I need them anymore. I feel like I’ve learned enough lessons with them… that I don’t need it.”