Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos has had a rough year. Now dos Santos has come forward to offer his thoughts.
Dos Santos was pulled from his scheduled match up against Francis Ngannou back at UFC 215 after being flagged by USADA for a failed drug test. That was back in August of 2017.
Just a month ago, USADA elected to reduce dos Santos’s suspension after revealing that the former title holder had received the banned substances through contaminated supplaments that were traced back to a Brazilian pharmacy. The fighter is now once again eligible to compete.
Speaking on the latest edition of The MMA Hour, dos Santos offered his thoughts on the situation.
“They stopped my whole career to investigate the thing. I think that goes in the completely opposite direction of the law. I’m innocent until proven guilty. In this case, it’s different — you’re guilty until you’re proven innocent. So, yeah. This is not good, man. Especially in my case, that I knew I didn’t do anything wrong and I was going all through this situation. It was a very bad feeling.”
“I feel the truth was found and everybody knows that was a tainted supplement. It wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t my intention. There’s always negative people, that they keep saying bad things about you. They hold on the negative things. But I feel like I got my reputation back. It’s very, very important to me.”
“Based on those numbers, on those things, in my mind USADA would be the organization that know that I’m not a cheater. But it wasn’t like that. I still went through this whole investigation, this whole scenario and they were putting me as a cheater. It was very bad, man. Now, I hope they can keep a clean sport however they can do that. But they have better rules, better ways to treat the athletes. Because it’s our lives.
“I hope the system gets better.”
“I know this sport, these drugs, these performance-enhancing drugs are a big problem for all the athletes. Because everybody knows most of the athletes, in general, in other sports, too, sometimes they take PEDs. I want to see a clean sport, because we want to know who is the real champion. We don’t want to see a fake champion over there.”
“This last year was a nightmare for me, because man, I never imagine I could go through something like that in my career. I’ve been playing the fair game my entire career. I became the champion of the world like that and my goal is to become champion of the world again this way. This thing that happened with me and USADA, that was very sad for me.”