Junior Dos Santos, the former UFC Heavyweight champion, has been pulled from his fight against rising star Francis Ngannou at UFC 215 after USADA notified his camp about a potential anti-doping violation.
The sample in question apparently stemmed from an out-of-competition test on August 10, according to an official UFC statement. As is policy, the potential substance has not been named.
Dos Santos has been pulled out of the fight less than a month before UFC 215. His former would-be opponent Francis Ngannou has been cutting a swath through the Heavyweight division, most recently defeating another former champion in Andrei Arlovski. A victory over Dos Santos likely would have placed “The Predator” in line for a Heavyweight title shot.
Ngannou has responded on Twitter, and he is not pleased at all:
I'm very very angry!!!
Almost done with training camp and they just announced that my opponent is out for #ufc215
— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) August 18, 2017
Dos Santos was himself coming off of an unsuccessful title shot, being knocked out by current champion Stipe Miocic.
We will keep you updated if Ngannou gets another opponent and/or when more about the potential violation comes to light.
UPDATE: JDS’ manager released a statement saying that “Cigano” tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic banned by USADA due to its frequent use as a masking agent. Hydrochlorothiazide is prescribed to treat hypertension, but is well known to be an unlisted ingredient in many dietary and workout supplements.
USADA confirmed this statement, but did not say what amount of the compound they found in Dos Santos’ system.
Further details will come out as JDS’ USADA hearing nears.