Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight contender, Dequan Townsend, was recently informed he had failed a United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) drug test stemming from a sample collected on June 28, 2019.
That was a day before making his official UFC debut at UFC on ESPN3, where he stepped in on short notice to face Dalcha Lungiambula, to whom he lost to via third round knockout.
USADA released a statement revealing Dequon had accepted a six-month suspension after popping for cocaine and fentanyl.
“Townsend, 33, tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, and norfentanyl, a metabolite of fentanyl and its derivatives, as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided on June 28, 2019 at UFC Fight Night Minneapolis, where he lost by technical knockout,” USADA officials wrote in a statement.
Due to the fact that he failed for substance of abuse, not performance enhancers, Townsend’s suspension was not so harsh.
“Cocaine, a non-Specified stimulant, and fentanyl, a Specified narcotic, are prohibited in-competition and considered Substances of Abuse under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and the UFC Prohibited List.”
“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, athletes may receive a reduced sanction for Substances of Abuse if they can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation did not enhance, and was not intended to enhance, the athlete’s performance in a bout and they subsequently complete a drug rehabilitation program,” USADA confirmed.
Since his suspension will be retroactive to the night his test was administered, Townsend is still eligible to compete in a couple of weeks, as he is set to face Bevon Lewis at UFC Fight Night 166 on Jan. 25 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
According to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, Townsend will not face further sanction from the Minnesota Office of Combative Sports due to the fact they simply do not conduct their own drug tests.