Three PFL fighters face bans after failed drug tests https://t.co/H1HkQIjEzU— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) November 20, 2019
The Professional Fighters League has a messy situation on its hands now.
According to ESPN on Wednesday, three PFL fighters have failed drug tests and are subject to discipline from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Both Glaico Franca and Luis Rafael Laurentino tested positive for stanozolol, a steroid, while Ramsey Nijem was flagged for marijuana. This announcement is on the heels of an alleged failed drug test for featherweight Daniel Pineda, who was removed from his championship bout against Lance Palmer and replaced by Alex Gilpin.
Franca and Laurentino have since claimed innocence, both alleging contaminated supplements. Franca told MMA Fighting, "I was caught by surprise because I'm a 100 percent clean athlete so you don't expect to fail a drug test. That happened on Oct. 11 but I'm cool about it. I will prove that this stanozolol metabolite that showed up in my urine test came from a contaminated supplement."
Each of the three fighters reached the playoffs, but only Franca recorded a win, when he defeated Andre Fialho in the quarterfinals by majority verdict. He lost to David Michaud later that night, also by majority decision. Laurentino suffered a knockout loss to Jeremy Kennedy -- which now means that Kennedy faced two opponents that failed drug tests that night -- while Nijem was choked unconscious by eventual finalist Natan Schulte in less than one minute.
Their hearings are set for Dec. 18. All three men face fines and suspensions depending on the results of their respective hearings, while Franca's win over Fialho is at risk of being overturned to a no-contest. As none of the three reached the finals, their results will not impact the PFL Championships on Dec. 31.