Last month, Fabricio Werdum was given a two-year suspension by USADA after testing positive for the anabolic steroid tenbolone and its metabolite epitrenbolone in an out-of-competition screening conducted in April.
“Vai Cavalo” won’t be able to return to action until May 2020, when he is 43 years old. The former heavyweight champion recently told Combate that USADA presented an option during a meeting that could have resulted in a reduced suspension.
“What surprised me the most was at the end of the interview, it was something that I found absurd,” Werdum said (translation via MMAjunkie.com). “They said, ‘Werdum, here’s the thing: If you tell on someone …’ It was what you could call ‘delacao premiada’ [plea bargain]. ‘Werdum, if you tell on someone’ – using the slang, if you’re a snitch – ‘we’ll shorten your suspension. Because you’re going to have to pay something. Even if we find the substance in any of the products we test, even if we find it, you’ll have to pay something.’
“… For the guy to make me an offer like that, to snitch on someone, that goes against my principles. I can’t tell on someone. Even if I knew, I wouldn’t do it. How am I going to snitch on someone to make it better for me, to lower my suspension or whatever?”
The option of aiding USADA came to light in the case of Jon Jones, who as a second-time offender was facing a four-year sanction from USADA following a failed drug test at UFC 214. The ex-light heavyweight champion ultimately received a reduced suspension of 15 months for providing what USADA deemed “substantial assistance,” which is covered in Article 10.6.1.1 of the UFC’s anti-doping policy. Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, insisted that his client didn't snitch to help his own cause.
With mentioning him directly, Werdum admitted that he was confused at the leniency granted to Jones.
“I’m not going to name names, but I saw that recently a guy who was supposed to have caught four years ended up catching 15 months,” Werdum said. “And I caught 24 months. How come? If it was his second or third offense? Is it two weights and two measures? How does that work? It’s very strange, really.”
Werdum last appeared at UFC Fight Night 127, where he suffered a fourth-round knockout loss to Alexander Volkov. He was supposed to face Alexey Oleynik at UFC Moscow on Sept. 15 before his sanction was imposed. The 32-fight veteran is currently weighing his options.
“I want to keep fighting,” Werdum said. “I’m training every day – of course, I’m not training with the same intensity of when I have a fight. … I’ve thought of fighting in a different country. I’m going to see what I’ll do now. It’s hard now – it’s all very recent. I still have to talk to the UFC. I’m still working on TV as a commentator [with the UFC’s Spanish-language broadcasts]. There are many things happening and I need to take a moment to really think, because sometimes I’ll say something, and I’ll regret it later.
“… I’ll have to see what I’ll do. I have two more fights in the UFC. How long will I have to wait? Will I have to wait out these two years? Will I be able to fight in another country? What will I do? I don’t know yet. I’m still indecisive. I still have a lot of thinking to do.”