It didn't take Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Rousimar Palhares very long to break his silence after it was announced on Thursday (Jan. 10, 2012) that the Brazilian had failed his UFC on FX 6: "Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson" post-fight drug test for having elevated testosterone levels in his system.
The 32-year-old submission specialist suffered a first-round knockout loss to Hector Lombard at the event, which took place at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia on Dec. 14, 2012.
"Toquinho" reportedly had a 9-to-1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio in his system, and as a result was suspended nine-months by the UFC retroactive to the day of his defeat to Lombard.
Just one day after news of his failed drug test and suspension came to light, Palhares addressed the situation via a press release to MMA Junkie, firmly denying ever taking any illegal substances, but stating he accepts the punishment handed down by the UFC, who handled drug testing at the overseas event.
"I've always been extremely regimented with my diet and would not use anything that could harm my body or my performance inside the octagon," Palhares stated. "And it wasn't different this time. I never had the intention to cheat. I've got almost 30 fights in my career, most of them in the UFC. I have been subjected to several surprise tests, and there was never anything wrong. Besides, I knew that I would be tested after the fight in Australia because it is standard in the UFC. I have a clear conscience, but accepted the punishment. The rules are there for everyone and must be followed.
"I consulted with my doctor, and he will go over all food supplements used in my preparation for the fight and the test results. I want to know exactly what happened that made the testosterone rate unusual in my body."
Palhares (14-5) must pass a UFC-issued drug test once the nine-month suspension is complete in order to receive clearance to fight again.
Joey Beltran, like Palhares, failed his UFC on FX 6 post-fight drug test. "The Mexicutioner" tested positive for nandrolone and was suspended for nine months, but, like Palhares, has protested the result, denying any PED usage.