Machida pulled from UFC card after doping admission

Lyoto Machida has been withdrawn from the co-main event of UFC on FOX 19 this weekend due to a doping scandal.

The 37-year-old Brazilian had been scheduled to face Dan Henderson in Tampa, but he has confirmed that he used a prohibited substance following an out-of-competition test.

“The UFC organisation was made aware today by U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, that Lyoto Machida declared the usage of a banned substance during an out-of-competition sample collection last week,” said a UFC statement on Wednesday.

“Machida stated that he was unaware that the substance was prohibited both in and out of competition and, in accordance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, his disclosure of usage will be taken into consideration by USADA during any potential results management and adjudication process.

“Given this information, UFC officials have elected to remove Machida from his scheduled bout against Dan Henderson this Saturday.”

“Guys, I just wanted to let you know that I was caught off-guard, too,” Machida said in a statement translated from Portuguese. “It’s been very hard for me. I trained very hard for this fight. I dedicated myself a lot with my team. I want to tell you that I didn’t know about this substance. It was something that actually declared in my test. I said, ‘No, I’m taking all these things,’ and this substance was banned in 2016.”

“It was my mistake, and I own up to it because I didn’t know about it. I just want to apologize to all of you, to all my fans, from all my heart. To all my team, to all my family. I always try to play fair, but this time, this happened.”

Henderson will also be pulled from the event, much to his frustration, but he has been promised a fresh UFC booking in the near future.