Ex-UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos has been pulled from September’s UFC 215 card because of a potential drugs violation.
Dos Santos was due to face number nine ranked contender Francis Ngannou in Canada next month, but the Brazilian’s clash has now been cancelled.
UFC officials have revealed that the 33-year-old was flagged for an out-of-competition drugs test on August 10 after being notified by the US Anti-Doping Agency.
“Because of the proximity to Dos Santos’ upcoming scheduled bout at UFC 215 in Edmonton, Canada against Francis Ngannou, Dos Santos has been removed from the card and the UFC is currently seeking a replacement,” said a UFC statement.
I’m very very angry!!!
Almost done with training camp and they just announced that my opponent is out for #ufc215
— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) August 18, 2017
“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
In response, Dos Santos’ representatives released a statement insisting that the heavyweight has not taken any performance enhancing drugs.
— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) August 15, 2017
“We are still trying to understand the test results, so that we can investigate and determine what happened,” said the statement.
“What we know as of now is that Junior Dos Santos has never taken PED’s, has never knowingly used any banned substances, and has always supported USADA’s policies and efforts to keep the sport clean.
“If ever there was a fighter who made his position on this issue unequivocal, it’s Junior.
“We are confident that that we will be able to figure out what happened, and will provide an explanation once we have one.”