Only a day after light heavyweight Russian newcomer Abdul-Kerim Edilov (16-4) was flagged by USADA for a potential failed drug test, it seems another UFC fighter has flunked an out-of-competition drug test.
Welterweight Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means (25-7-1) has been informed of a potential drug test failure prior to his five round main event bout with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (28-6). The UFC issued a statement on their ufc.com website that reads as follows.
“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Tim Means of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. However, because Means was scheduled to compete against Donald Cerrone on February 21 in Pittsburgh, there is insufficient time for a full review and proper promotion before the scheduled bout. As a result, UFC will announce shortly a replacement opponent for Cerrone on the UFC Fight Night 82 card in Pittsburgh.Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) began their partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in July of 2015 with UFC 189 being the inaugural event under the new testing protocols. The recent uptick in USADA testing failures has been rather concerning as of late. The first half of the USADA era testing seemed to go off without a hitch, no red flags, no spike in positive tests and little to no pushback from the athletes, sans a peculiar botched drug testing sample from former featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Now, Mirko “Cro Cop”, Gleison Tibau, and Yoel Romero all allegedly failed one if not multiple drug tests per USADA.
The situation is never ideal, but it is even less so now with Tim Means being ejected from the UFC Pittsburgh headliner. The UFC had just managed to salvage the UFC 196: Werdum vs. Velasquez II pay-per-view card by announcing it will now be known as UFC Fight Night 82, and now they have been saddled with this unfortunate predicament.
As the statement read, Cerrone has yet to be matched with an opponent, but given his willingness to fight anyone on a moment’s notice, it wouldn’t seem all too difficult for a valiant participant to step up and pull a “Cowboy.”
Pending any further unforeseen circumstances in the next two weeks, UFC Fight Night 83 will take place at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 21, 2016 live on Fox Sports 1.