Former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko happens to be in town to help promote the Bellator 134 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on Spike TV (more on that here), and as such, was unable to escape headlines about the "high possibility" that he was using steroids in Japan.
See those comments from UFC color commentator Joe Rogan here.
Emelianenko inists that not only was he a clean fighter, but that he was also subjected to drug testing while ruling the 265-pound roost. And as for Rogan's comments, well, we can chalk those up to "PR scandals."
"The Last Emperor" talks to Jason Nawara:
"He likes to do PR scandals. As always, I'm ready now to test and always will and always would've been clean. Actually we did get tested for steroids but everyone just assumed that because no one tested positive that there were no steroids. Of course the thought has crossed my mind, and assumptions were made, but it gave me strength to know that my opponent may have had to use something while I put in all of the hard work and long training trying to be a better fighter which is why, with God's help, I was able to win whether my opponent was on steroids or not."
Good enough for me.
Naturally, steroids are the talk of the town after former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva -- often compared to Emelianenko in conversations about the greatest of all time -- failed his UFC 183 drug test, something the retired heavyweight called a "slap in the face."
"It's extremely upsetting that an athlete of that level actually turned to an aid from drugs to enhance his performance. It's a slap in the face overall. A slap in the face to the sport and all the fighters in the sport. I also feel that an athlete should depend on their skill set, experience and hard work they put in and not have to look to shorten that distance between hard training and the win by using or depending on steroids or any performance enhancing drug. Most importantly you have to stay true to yourself as well as those fans who made you who you are as an athlete. And now due to the use of steroids, he has this trademark, I feel, as someone who uses performance enhancing drugs to win."
Emelianenko hung 'em up in early 2012 and hasn't been seen since, despite please from stateside promoter (and Bellator buddy) Scott Coker to come back for one last run.