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Bellator 127 Drug Debacle Breakdown

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The MMA community has known for weeks now that 18% of the fighters on the Bellator 127 fight card tested positive for illegal substances. This is a breakdown of what substances came up on the Bellator 127 radar and how they affect athlete performance.

steroids

Testosterone

This one isn’t too much of a surprise. Increasing testosterone levels is generally known to promote muscle growth and recovery, regulated moods and better sleep. All of that sounds like a great thing to have as a fighter, but in combat sports, athletes are generally limited to the amount of testosterone that the body naturally produces. This varies for everyone.

The use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has been a continually debated issue in combat sports given the actual medical need experienced by some participants in the sport and the granting of medical exemptions.

Both Keith Berry and Nick Moghaddam felt that they were lacking in the substance, and were caught with excessive levels of testosterone and the following banned substance.

(Photo via Substance.com)
(Photo via Substance.com)

Cannabinoids/Marijuana

This drug is not considered a performance enhancer. As a matter of fact, its effects are generally known to decrease performance. In any case, the substance is illegal for use in any state, except for Colorado, without a prescription and is illegal in many professional athletics with or without a prescription.

For their use of testosterone and marijuana, both Barry and Moghaddam were fined $2,500 and suspended for 300 days. Barry’s split decision win over Joe Pacheco was changed to a “no contest,” and Moghaddam’s unanimous decision loss to Ray Sloan will stand.

In Bellator 127, Fernando Gonzalez tested positive for cannabinoids and was fined $100 plus the $215 cost of testing. His win over Karo Parisyan will stand. This is likely because use of marijuana is not generally considered to provide a competitive athletic advantage.

(Photo via sleepdisorders.dolyan.com)
(Photo via sleepdisorders.dolyan.com)

Provigil (Modafinil)

This medication is used to decrease sleepiness, but is not just another pre-workout. It can allow a person to stay awake for 40 hours or more and is said to improve memory, enhance mood and alertness. It is considered a time-shifting drug and is typically only prescribed for extreme sleep disorder. Modafinil is considered a performance enhancing drug. In an athletic setting, it can allow a competitor to remain awake and alert at a higher level even through draining events such as the weight cut and 3-5 rounds of action.

For testing positive for Provigil in Bellator 127,  Rob Emerson was suspended for 270 days and fined $2,500. His loss to Rafael Silva in the main card will stand.

Bellator President Scott Coker released the following statement on the Bellator 127 fighters that tested for banned substances:

I want to make very clear that under new management, Bellator will simply not stand for performance enhancing drugs inside our cage,”

“We fully support the California State Athletic Commission in their process, and standby any disciplinary action handed out by Commissioner Andy Foster and the CSAC.  Fans, media and our athletes need to have a clear understanding that drug use will simply not be tolerated by Bellator.”