UFC 155-lb. Champion, Challenger Positive for Steroids

By Josh Gross Jul 19, 2007
UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk (Pictures) has tested positive for Nandrolone Metabolite following his title defense July 7 in Sacramento, Calif, the state's athletic commission revealed Thursday. Sherk scored a dominating five-round decision win over Brazilian Hermes Franca (Pictures), whom the CSAC also said tested positive for the banned substance Drostanolone.

After testing both "A" and "B" samples of the urine specimen provided by Sherk the day before the fight, the UFC champion's Nandrolone level was certified by the Director of Science and Technology at the lab conducting the tests at 12 ng/ml, two times higher than the threshold allowed by the CSAC, said the state regulatory body.

The Minnesotan lightweight has been fined $2,500 and suspended 365 days from the date of the fight, including an additional 10 days that would need be served if Sherk reapplied for a license to fight in the Golden State.

Calls to Sherk and his trainer Greg Nelson were not immediately returned.

Franca was also fined $2,500 -- the maximum fine the CSAC can levy -- and suspended through July 5, 2008. The Brazilian told MMAweekly.com that he had used a "banned substance" prior to the fight.

"I offer only an explanation and not an excuse," Franca said. "I made a decision during a difficult time in my training for the fight that I regret."

Saying an injured ankle prompted him to look for ways to "accelerate the healing process" Franca said he made the "shortsighted" choice to use a banned substance. "Under the pressure of literally not being able to pay next months bills I made a choice," he told MMAweekly. "I had to fight and did whatever I could to do so."

UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (Anderson Silva' class='LinkSilver'>Pictures) and Nathan Marquardt (Pictures), participants in July 7's other title fight in Sacramento, Calif., were both cleared for any banned substances.

This news comes on the heels of a CSAC report that revealed 28 violations, including nine for steroids, of its anti-doping policy from March 31, 2007 through July 6, 2007. Seventeen of the 28 violators were fighters in mixed martial arts contests.
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