Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal maintains that he did not take any anabolic steroids.
According to his manager, Mike Kogan (via The MMA Show), "King Mo" will undergo surgery today to repair his knee, which he re-injured while he was preparing to fight Lorenz Larkin at the Strikeforce: "Rockhold vs. Jardine" event on Jan. 7, 2012, in Las Vegas.
That is, of course, the same event that saw him test positive for Drostanolone, an anabolic steroid used by many athletes and competitive bodybuilders because its "anti-estrogenic properties make it a very effective cutting agent."
Here's the thing, though: Lawal says he never took anything of the sort. He will admit, however, to having been injected with an anti-inflammatory steroid when he had his knee drained by a doctor but that's it.
Here's Kogan's quote when speaking with Mauro Ranallo:
"We had some knee problems going into the fight (against Larkin). He had a torn ACL and his knee swelled up three or four weeks before the fight and we had to have it systematically drained. He is in surgery right now having his ACL put in (Lawal does not have an ACL). We talked to that doctor if there might have been something he put in that may have caused this, but from his conclusion it doesn't seem likely. He put in an an anti-inflammatory steroid at the time when he first drained the knee, but since then he hasn't put anything in. But it wasn't an anabolic steroid so it wasn't the same. That's basically where we are right now. We are still trying to figure out this thing out."
So if we're to understand that Lawal was suffering from a knee injury that was hampering him enough to go a doctor to get it drained, and he tested positive for an anabolic steroid typically used to help cut weight, it's natural for folks to put two and two together and assume the worst.
But, of course, there's always more to the story than it seems.
Lawal's only comments since being alerted to his failed test were to deny any wrongdoing. His official stance is that while he may cheat at video games, but he doesn't cheat at fighting.
Ultimately, the Nevada State Athletic Commission will determine that when his appeal is heard and they decide on whether or not to uphold a ruling against him, which would likely entail a fine and a suspension of up to one year.
Anyone ready to jump to Lawal's defense with this new information?