Walt Harris Accepts 4-Month USADA Suspension for Anti-Doping Violation

By: Tristen Critchfield
Apr 22, 2019

Walt Harris has been suspended four months by the USADA for a failed drug test at UFC 232 this past December.

The sanction is identical to the one Harris received from the California State Athletic Commission, which also fined the heavyweight $4,000. “The Big Ticket” tested positive in competition for a selective androgen receptor module called LGD4033, and as a result, his split-decision triumph against Andrei Arlovski was overturned to a no contest.

Harris’ suspension was reduced after it was determined that a tainted supplement caused the failed drug test. He will be eligible to return to active competition in April, which means that his scheduled UFC Ottawa bout against Sergey Spivak on May 4 is not in jeopardy.

The statement from USADA regarding Harris is as follows:

USADA announced today that Walt Harris, of Homewood, Ala., has accepted a four-month sanction for a violation of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy after testing positive for a prohibited substance from a contaminated supplement.

Harris, 35, tested positive for LGD-4033 as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided on December 29, 2018 that was collected by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) at UFC 232 in Inglewood, Calif. LGD-4033 is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (UFC ADP), which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Following notification of his positive test, Harris provided USADA with information about a dietary supplement product he was using before and at the time of the relevant sample collection. Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement label, analysis conducted on both the open and independently sourced, unopened containers of the product by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, indicated that the product contained LGD-4033.

The presence of an undisclosed prohibited substance in a product is regarded as contamination. Accordingly, the product has since been added to the list of high-risk supplements maintained on USADA’s online dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource – Supplement 411 (www.Supplement411.org).

Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, the determination that an athlete’s positive test was caused by a contaminated product may result in a reduced sanction. Where contamination is established, the sanction for a doping offense involving a non-Specified Substance ranges from a reprimand and no period of ineligibility, at a minimum, to a two-year period of ineligibility, at a maximum.

CSAC announced a four-month suspension and $4,000 fine stemming from Harris’ December 29, 2018 sample CSAC collected. Taking into consideration the circumstances that resulted in Harris’ positive test and CSAC’s suspension and fine, USADA has determined that a four-month period of ineligibility is an appropriate sanction under the UFC ADP for his violation.

Harris’ four-month period of ineligibility began on December 29, 2018, the date his positive sample was collected. Under the rules, any decision concerning competition results is handled by the Commission and the UFC.

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