Kevin Lee Apologizes After Testing Positive for Banned Stimulant, Shares Issues with Sobriety

By Tristen Critchfield Oct 20, 2021


Kevin Lee received a temporary suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

Lee tested positive for the amphetamine Adderall in relation to his UFC on ESPN 30 loss to Daniel Rodriguez. The NSAC voted to further extend a temporary suspension during a Wednesday hearing. Lee’s case is expected to be heard at the next commission meeting on Nov. 17.

Lee released a statement via Instagram apologizing for his failed drug test.

“I have tested over the limit allowed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in my most recent fight. In 2018 I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD, it has always affected me,” Lee wrote. “I did not discover real treatment for the diagnosis until 2020 when I was recovering from my double knee surgeries. I was prescribed Adderall from a doctor to improve my mental Health. I told representatives from USADA but did not apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption from the NSAC before my last fight. For that, I truly apologize to the UFC, the commission, my opponent, Dana White, the matchmakers, Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard, and the fans.

“It was never my intention to gain an athletic advantage. It was an attempt to conquer the severe anxiety I silently suffer from daily. I am actively cooperating with the Nevada Athletic Commission and expect to reach an agreement on a sanction. I will use this time to heal and come back stronger. Sorry for my lack of professionalism that lead to this disappointment, I’ll be back.”

Lee later posted an additional statement in which he detailed his battles with alcohol and substance abuse.

“I’ll just speak as a human not as a fighter right now,” Lee wrote. “I’ve been embarrassed these last few weeks since knowing this news would come out. I always knew my brain worked different than other people and I’ve tried to hide my whole life. Before I started taking medicine I spent a lot of my time drunk. I been scared knowing that the world would know exactly what’s wrong with me.

“But from now, fuck all that. I’m not embarrassed and I’m not hiding behind diagnosis’s and pills or alcohol or none of that no more. I haven’t been drunk for about a month (which is a lot for me outside of fight camp) and no more prescriptions. Not that I think they are wrong or harmful but this next stage of healing I need to be sober and connected with God. Making a post is holding me accountable, if there’s one person out there like me I’m with you.”

Lee has fallen on hard times in the promotion, losing four of his last five UFC bouts. At one point, “The Motown Phenom” won nine of 10 appearances before falling to Tony Ferguson in an interim ligthweight title bout at UFC 216.


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