UFC welterweight competitor Jim Wallhead has accepted a reduced nine-month suspension from USADA for taking a contaminated supplement, the promotion announced in a statement Tuesday.
The Englishman tested positive for ostarine and its metabolite in an out-of-competition test on Oct. 7. Wallhead was able to prove that a supplement he took contained the banned substance and get his sanction reduced from a maximum period of two months. His period of ineligibility began on the date of the positive test, so he will be able to return to active competition in June.
The statement regarding Wallhead is as follows:
Ostarine, also known as MK-2866 and Enobosarm, is a non-FDA approved selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that is illegally sold worldwide as a performance-enhancing substance. Ostarine is not currently available as a prescription medication in any country, and its unauthorized use may carry serious side effects. Nonetheless, ostarine has been found as a declared and undeclared ingredient in many dietary supplements, which has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue warning letters to specific dietary supplement manufacturers stating that ostarine is an unapproved new drug and that selling the drug is in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. More information about the risks of ostarine can be found through a USADA athlete advisory.
Following notification of his positive test, Wallhead provided USADA with information about a dietary supplement product he was using at the time of the relevant sample collection. Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement label, testing conducted on an independently sourced, unopened container of the product by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, indicated that it contained ostarine. The presence of an undisclosed prohibited substance in a product is regarded as contamination. Accordingly, the product has since been added to the High Risk List of supplements maintained on USADA’s online dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource – Supplement 411 (www.Supplement411.org).
Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, a violation caused by a contaminated product may result in a reduced sanction. Where contamination is established, the sanction for a doping offense involving a non-Specified Substance ranges from a reprimand and no period of ineligibility, at a minimum, to a two-year period of ineligibility, at a maximum, depending on the athlete’s degree of fault.
Here, USADA took into consideration the circumstances that resulted in Wallhead’s positive test, including his failure to thoroughly research the contaminated supplement, or recognize the increased risk of purchasing a supplement from a supplier that also produces products with prohibited substances. As such, USADA determined that a nine-month period of ineligibility was an appropriate sanction under the rules for his violation.
“Judo” Jim last appeared at UFC 212, where he was submitted by Luan Chagas in the second round on June 3. He also came up short in his Octagon debut, losing a split verdict to Jessin Ayari at UFC Fight Night 93 in September 2016. The Cage Warriors Fighting Championship and British Association of Mixed Martial Arts veteran owns a 29-11 career record.