The United States Anti-Doping Agency has announced UFC light heavyweight Tom Lawlor has been suspended for a period of two years.
Lawlor tested positive for a banned substance in a sample submitted on October 10, 2016. The 33-year-old Lawlor tested positive for Ostarine that is a prohibited substance in the category of Anabolic Agents and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the WADA Prohibited List.
The two-year period of ineligibility of Lawlor began on October 10, 2016, the date his positive sample was collected. He would now be eligible to fight on October 11, 2018. The UFC fighter had missed 27 months from 2013 to 2015 because of knee surgery and more recently had issues with a concussion. The two-year suspension probably means an end of his career.
The UFC fighter last fought in March of 2016, when he lost via a unanimous decision to Corey Anderson at UFC 196. Lawlor, a colorful character known for his theatrical weigh-in appearances and fight-night walk-ins, has taken up pro wrestling since being sidelined by the UFC and recently participated in a pro wrestling event in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Lawlor had long been highly outspoken in favor of drug testing and a zero-tolerance policy in the sport. The UFC light heavyweight was fully aware about issues with tainted supplements to the extent that he stopped making use of supplements about 18 months ago. Lawlor commented that he still don't take supplements and said he is not a fool to risk a suspension for such a small amount of anything.
A selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM), Ostarine is also known as MK-2866 and Enobosarm. Few months back, UFC welterweight Tim Means accepted a six-month suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency after Ostraine was found in supplements he was taking at the time. The 32-year-old was tested out-of-competition on January 21 last year and tested positive. Means could have faced a possible ban of two years as a first-time offender but the punishment was downgraded in light of the tainted supplement.
In the past, UFC middleweight Yoel Romero failed an out-of-competition test for a growth hormone substitute and a similar ruling was made by USADA. This was after Romero subsequently proved his positive test stemmed from a tainted supplement. It was later confirmed by USADA that the "tainted" supplement had Ibutamoren that was not listed as an ingredient.
Romero had failed a drug test after his UFC 194 split decision win over Ronaldo Souza. A 2000 Olympic silver-medal wrestler for Cuba, Romero had won seven straight fights in UFC and all set for a potential title fight after the victory at UFC 194 before news of his failed drug test emerged.
Dr. Amy Eichner, USADA’s Special Advisor on Drugs and Supplements, had then remarked the Romero case clearly demonstrates some of the dangers inherent to supplement use. Dr. Eichner also commented that it is vitally important when considering whether to incorporate supplements into a training plan that athletes exercise the upmost care in order to avoid making a decision that could endanger their eligibility, reputation, or general health and wellness.