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Contaminated! Yoel Romero, manager try to explain failed UFC drug test

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Yoel Romero's title hopes went up in flames when it was discovered that he had potentially failed his post-fight drug test after his victory over Ronaldo Souza at UFC 194 in Dec. 2015.

Just a few days ago, however, the Cuban-born fighter posted this positive message, indicating that his B-sample results had provided good news for he and his team. And on the most recent edition of "The MMA Hour," Romero and his manager, Malki Kawa, elaborated on the news.

"What basically happened was, he took a certain supplement after his fight that was contaminated. It had an illegal substance in it," said Kawa. "He provided USADA with the supplement he took. When you read the label, it's a natural supplement, it's supposed to be as clean as possible. It's something anyone can take. If everything on the label would have been in there, we wouldn't be here. This particular supplement was contaminated with the product he failed for.

"The substance has a label with a bunch of stuff on it," Kawa said as transcribed by MMA Fighting. "None of that is illegal to take. What he got popped for is not on the label. So it's obviously not his fault that he popped for this."

That said, Kawa was adamant in withholding the name of the "contaminated supplement" that did him in because USADA is still currently investigating the situation. Still, Malki says the decision to ingest anything ultimately falls on his client.

"He did take the supplement," Kawa said. "If you take a supplement, you run the risk of this happening. The responsibility does fall on Yoel."

Furthermore, both Kawa's team and USADA sent out the supplement out to be tested. As a result, Kawa said USADA determined that the supplement did have a contamination problem. So, whoever else took that supplement, now has a banned substance in their system.

As for Romero -- who spoke through Kawa and his translator -- he says while he failed the test, he didn't take a banned substance knowingly because he wouldn't do anything to tarnish his career and the way he provides for his family.

"I think it's my responsibility when I take something. But, I think maybe a public warning [would be a fair punishment]. I don't know. ... Nobody knows. When you see the supplement, outside it says it's clean, you can take it."

He continued.

"My whole entire life, I've trained very hard," Romero said. "I abstain from a lot of stuff in life. To reach not just the world title, but also to maintain my family. If I would have committed what they're saying, I'm running the risk that I can't support my family. I think more about my family than I do a title. I'm conscious that if I take one of these supplements, they're going to catch me."

Romero -- who did pass both his pre- and post-fight drug tests according to Kawa -- could face up to a two-year suspension from USADA, or as little as a public warning. Kawa says he hopes everything will be cleared up by the end of this week.

For now, his championship dreams are on hold, as UFC officials moved on and granted Chris Weidman his rematch against current division kingpin, Luke Rockhold, which is set to pop off at UFC 199 this June.

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