On Friday evening the news broke that former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir had been informed of a “potential” anti-doping violation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
In a statement issued by the UFC, it was revealed that the issue related to a sample Mir had provided on the day of his knockout loss to Mark Hunt in Brisbane, Australia last month.
Not long after that story hit the media, Mir released a statement predictably denying any wrong doing.
“To all my fans and supporters,
I recently been notified by USADA that the test I took on the night of the fight came back for a substance that I did not take. I don’t know how that is possible as I did not take any performance enhancing drugs (PED) to compete. I have never tested positive for a banned substance since joining the UFC and becoming a 2x champion. I ask all of you to hold judgement [sic] against me until all the facts have been revealed”.
The statement was pretty standard and it didn’t provide much in the way of extra information on the situation, but the Las Vegas native would go into much greater detail about the nature of his alleged violation on an a special episode of his podcast.
Mir, who seemed to be taking the setback in his stride, claimed that he had no idea how he ended up with metabolites of an anabolic steroid in his system. Unlike many others in his shoes, the 36-year-old veteran did not try to blame a contaminated supplement, as he claimed that his use of such substances were minimal.
“I take a multivitamin, a fish oil pill and an aspirin,” said Mir, before adding that he also drinks an occasional protein shake.
Instead of going this route, Mir used the timeline of events to somewhat discredit USADA’s findings.
The fighter revealed that he had provided samples to USADA on February 2nd, and that these samples came back clean. Yet a urine sample he provided a little over 6 weeks later returned a positive result.
The problem with this, asserted Mir, is that the steroid in question stays in one’s system for a 6 week period and therefore the window of time in which he could have taken the drug consisted of only a few days.
“In the print out of the paper that they sent me today it said it was a very low level,” stated the ex-champion. “That means I’m at the tail end of having it in my system for 6 weeks”.
“They[USADA testers] said that ‘the levels were so low that you had to be taking it 4-6 weeks before the fight’. I’m like ‘so during the time you drug-tested me'”.
“So what you’re saying is that your science is showing that the minute you guys tested me, I took the opportunity at that moment to go ‘what are the chances of you coming back in the next couple of weeks and I decided to give my physique and my body a jump start. And I started taking these pills, knowing that any idiot can google them and see that they last in your system for 6 weeks'”.
“That being said I was able to maybe have a window of opportunity of maybe a week”.
Mir’s co-host on the podcast summed it up more simply.
“You would have had to have ingested this and, maybe more importantly, stopped ingesting it 4-6 weeks prior to that positive test,” said Richard Hunter. “So that’s opening up a very narrow window of opportunity”.
“The scenario would have had to have been that they came here February 2nd, tested you, you tested clean. Then at that point, if this were true, you would have had to have ingested it for a very short period of time, maybe for a period of a couple of days and then stopped”.
Given that the benefits of taking an anabolic substance for such a brief period would likely be minimal, Mir’s argument is quite convincing. The question would have to be asked, why would any athlete take such a massive risk for negligible gain?
Of course, if Mir’s B-sample also comes back positive, none of the circumstantial evidence will matter and the heavyweight will be looking at a potentially career threatening 2-year suspension.
You can listen to the entire episode of Phone Booth Fighting here.