Ali Bagautinov was suspended by the British Columbia Athletic Commission (BCAC) for testing positive for Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (EPO) following his loss to flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson on June 14, 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, forbidding him from competing in the province for one year.
Hours after the BCAC brought down the hammer on "Puncher King," Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) followed suit and issued the Russian-born fighter the same suspension, which means he won't be able to compete at all for an entire calendar year.
Furthermore, Bagautinov must pass a drug test at the end of his suspension before he is allowed to step foot back inside the Octagon.
"UFC 174 competitor Ali Bagautinov has been suspended by the British Columbia Athletic Commission for testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO). He was also informed that his positive test violated the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and Promotional Agreement with Zuffa, LLC. The UFC has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents by our athletes. Bagautinov will serve a one-year suspension and must pass a drug test at the conclusion of his suspension before receiving clearance to compete in the UFC again."
Speaking to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, UFC President Dana White expressed his obvious disappointment upon hearing of the latest failed drug test, saying that the ZUFFA-owned promotion is doing everything possible to clean up the sport.
"I'm beyond disappointed. We're not paying lip service to this. We're trying to clean this up. It's hurting everyone in the sport and we're all over it."
Bagautinov is now the second MMA fighter to test positive for EPO in the last month, as Chael Sonnen also had the banned substance in his system based on the results of his most recent failed test.
Iole brought up a very interesting point, saying he found it odd that both men were busted for EPO, seeing as how it usually passes through the body in a little as 24 hours.
The latest failed test, believe it or not, has a positive (no pun intended) side to it, as it proves that UFC -- with the help of athletic commissions around the world -- is effectively cracking down harder than ever on drug abusers with random testing.
A battle that isn't cheap.
Still, a random drug test is what got Sonnen busted the first time, and forced Wanderlei Silva to do his best vanishing act when confronted by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to provide a urine sample.
It should be noted that Ali's post-fight drug test, according to BCAC commissioner Dave Maedel, complied with World Anti-Doping Agency Standards as well as British Columbia's anti-doping policies. It was an out of competition random test administered on June 2, 2014, that provided the positive result.
Bagautinov was allowed to compete at UFC 174 because the results had not been returned prior to fight night.
While great strides were made after NSAC, as well as other athletic commissions, banned the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in MMA, it seems the sport still has a long battle ahead with other banned substances.
We were warned.