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Not suspended Manel Kape blames M3 picograms for UFC Vegas 52 removal in deleted tweet

UFC Fight Night: Kape v Nicolau Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Earlier today, UFC Vegas 52 lost one of its most intriguing and important fights when Flyweight contender, Manel Kape, was forced to withdraw from his planned bout versus striking specialist Su Mudaerji. The two knockout artists were looking to really break into the title picture, but Kape was removed for “personal reasons.”

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 67 On ESPN+

TOP RANKED MIDDLEWEIGHT STANDOUTS COLLIDE! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicks off 2023 with another exciting event inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., Jan. 14, 2023, headlined by No. 7-ranked Middleweight contender, Sean Strickland, who steps up on super short notice to lock horns with No. 12-seeded Nassourdine Imavov. In UFC Vegas 67’s co-main event, Bantamweight bangers Umar Nurmagomedov and Raoni Barcelos hook ‘em up for a spot in the 135-pound title chase.

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Later, Kape revealed more details in a lengthy post on Twitter. That tweet has since been deleted, but that’s now how the Internet works. Reddit user /u/justformma screen-shotted the entire post, in which Kape reveals that an elevated level of M3 — a long-term metabolite of Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT) — which is a type of anabolic steroid. Kape denies knowingly taking any performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

Of equal importance, Kape makes it clear that he has not been suspended by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) or UFC. However, NSAC will not license him with his current M3 levels, which is the reason he’s been forced to withdraw from Saturday night’s contest. Instead, he’ll undergo six months of testing to further analyze the M3 levels in his system.

His complete post is transcribed below:

I want everyone to hear directly from me why I won’t be fighting this Saturday. I was shocked yesterday afternoon to receive a call from the UFC, telling me that the sample I provided to USADA on April 9th returned with a positive finding of 17 picograms per ml of the long term metabolite of DHCMT, called M3. I will start by stating unequivocally that I did not intentionally use DHCMT nor any other prohibited substance for that matter. I have zero idea how this got in my system. I have never had an issue with a previous test under this program and it is ridiculous to think I would intentionally use a prohibited substance (DHCMT) where it’s long term metabolite would remain in my system for months and sometimes years, as I am aware it often does.

Overnight, I have already learned much about this metabolite called M3. I know that several years ago the UFC changed their anti-doping program rules and instituted a 100 picogram per ml “threshold” for the M3 metabolite that must be exceeded in order to be a violation of the program. This is very important for me to note, I have not been charged with any violation or been sanctioned or suspended by anyone concerning this finding. However, I have also learned that the Nevada Athletic Commission has been handling these cases over the last couple of years by requiring any fighters with any levels of the M3 metabolite, to enter into a 6 month extensive testing program to study the presence and levels of M3 in their system. While I am disappointed that I will not be able to fight in Nevada this weekend and likely for the next six months, I will of course adhere to this study by the Nevada Athletic Commission because I have nothing to hide.

I have also learned overnight that I am not alone in this situation. I know that numerous UFC fighters have been in a similar situation as me, having a low levels of M3 in their system without any idea of how in got in their system. I also know that this issue is not unique to the UFC. I have also learned that numerous other professional athletes, including many Major League Baseball players, have been faced with this issue. While I will do everything in my power to come up with an answer. I know that often answers are never found as it relates to these low level cases of the M3 metabolite. I am grateful that the UFC program acknowledged this issue with the M3 metabolite and adjusted their program accordingly. I will cooperate with the Nevada Athletic Commission and do whatever they need me to do to acquire a license to fight. I look forward to my fans watching me again in the Octagon soon.

Picograms and deleted tweets ... it’s hard not to think of Jon Jones!

Back in 2019, Jones kept turning up positive for picograms of Turinabol, the same PED that saw him suspended in 2017. However, he wasn’t testing high enough to warrant a USADA suspension, so UFC moved an entire event from Nevada to California to keep Jones on the card. There was a lot of confusion and talk of salt grains in swimming pools ... it was a strange time.

Unfortunately for Kape, he’s no “Bones,” so UFC Vegas 52 will go on in Las Vegas without the Flyweight contender.

For the revised UFC Vegas 52 fight card and ESPN+ lineup click here.

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