Steroid Allegations Hit Women’s MMA

By: Loretta Hunt
May 16, 2008



It's a time for firsts in women's mixed martial arts, though not all of it is promising.

Brazilian Carina Damm has tested positive for Nandrolone, according to the California State Athletic Commission, following tests conducted after her first round submission victory over Sophie Bagherdai (Pictures) at Femme Fatale Fighting 4, held on April 3 in Los Angeles. Damm's nanogram count was reported at 37.9 ng/mL which exceeds the threshold of 2 ng/mL, CSAC official Bill Douglas stated in an email released Friday.

Damm becomes the first female fighter to face steroid allegations in the U.S. following government testing. CSAC officials have suspended Damm for one year and she has been fined $2,500. She will have opportunity to request a hearing before the CSAC to appeal the suspension and/or request a lighter sentence.

Undefeated in her last four bouts, Damm was slated to face American Debi Purcell (Pictures) at a ShoXC event on June 27 in San Diego, Calif. Purcell signed a three-fight contract with the promotion a week and a half ago, her first assignment a tilt with Damm at 130 pounds. Purcell said she was not surprised by Friday's news.

"it was obvious she was doing it [steroids], but I was just going to out-cardio and out-muscle her anyways," says Purcell, who hasn't met Damm in person. "I've been lifting for my whole life, everyday for I don't know how many years. People have accused me of doing steroids because I have muscles, which isn't fair. But you can't go have a normal body and two months later be huge."

Purcell said she has contacted EliteXC reps and is awaiting word on a new opponent. Purcell does not believe Damm's case will have an adverse affect on women's MMA, though she does not condone the use of steroids in the sport.

"I really believe, from the bottom of my heart, for what we do, that's it's only going to hurt our performance whether it's male or female - so I think it's stupid," Purcell said.

Damm could not be reached for comment.

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