Gracie Maintains Innocence
Of the mixed martial artists that fought June 2 at the Los Angeles
Memorial Coliseum, MMA pioneer Royce Gracie (Pictures) was likely the last man anyone
would have tabbed a steroid user.
However, on Thursday, that veneer was crushed when the California
State Athletic Commission revealed the 40-year-old Brazilian tested
positive in both "A" and "B" samples for traces of Nandrolone, a
commonly used anabolic steroid.
Currently vacationing in Spain after defeating Kazushi Sakuraba (Pictures) on points, Gracie e-mailed
Sherdog.com to refute the CSAC report.
"I have never in my 14-year fighting carrier [sic] taken anything
other then natural supplements and natural proteins," said Gracie,
who was paid $300,000 to fight. "As such, I am shocked that
anything was found in my system."
The early June bout marked the first time Gracie -- who competed
five times in Japan from 2000-2005 after taking half a decade away
from the ring following 13 unregulated UFC contests on American
soil -- was required to undergo tests for steroids conducted by a
Though Gracie fought Matt
Hughes (Pictures) on May 27, 2006 in Los Angeles,
California was not testing for anabolic agents at that point, said
CSAC Executive Officer Armando Garcia.
"I am looking into this issue right now and will file an appeal
with the CSAC," Gracie's e-mail continued. "I have been training
[for] this fight since October of 2006, as initially the show was
supposed to be on March 15th. Over the course of training I have
taken legal supplements that are available in GNC to anyone that
wants to get them. Outside of that I have never taken anything nor
ever would consider taking anything."
Cytosport, which produces the widely used "Muscle Milk" brand of
supplements, lists Gracie alongside fellow fighter Nick Diaz (Pictures) and others, including Minnesota
Twins pitcher Joe Nathan, as sponsored athletes.
According to Mike Kogan, who helped promote the June 2 "Dynamite!!
USA" Fight Entertainment Group card, Gracie was awoken by phone
calls at 4:30 Friday morning informing him of the news.
Closing out the short two-paragraph message, Gracie (14-3-3) wrote:
"My good name is all I have and I do not want my fans to think that
I would ever be [involved] with anything like this."
Pending appeal, which Gracie (14-3-3) must file for by July 13, the
CSAC has suspended the slender Brazilian from June 2, 2007 through
May 30, 2008, and fined him the maximum $2,500.
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