A UFC heavyweight is being sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).
Walt Harris has been temporarily suspended for a failed drug test in relation to UFC 232 last month, per CSAC. He is also facing a fine, which has yet to be determined. Harris’ split decision victory over Andrei Arlovski on the Dec. 29 card will remain for now, pending the outcome of an analysis of Harris’ ‘B’ sample.
Harris, 35, tested positive for a substance called LGD4033, which is in the family of selective androgen receptor modules (SARMs), like the more common Ostarine. LGD 4033 can be used to treat osteoporosis and is currently designated as an investigational new drug in the United States. Harris’ urine sample was collected in competition by CSAC — not UFC anti-doping partner USADA — and analyzed at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited lab at UCLA.
Harris declined comment on the matter, per manager Jason House, as the team continues to gather more information about the situation.
Though it was not a USADA test, USADA can sanction an athlete based on a commission test failure, per the UFC’s anti-doping policy. UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky told MMA Fighting that the UFC and USADA have been made aware of Harris’ failure. He added that USADA will let CSAC take the lead in this case, since it was the commission’s test.
“They’re going to remain in the background and let this play out on the California side and then determine the path where we go,” Novitzky said of USADA.
Novitzky added that Harris has not failed any drug tests under the USADA program. His last test was Nov. 30 and it came back negative, Novitzky said. Also, Novitzky said Harris and his team have already identified the potential contaminated supplement as the origin for the prohibited substance. Harris and his team will soon begin the process of getting that supplement tested, Novitzky said.
Harris (12-7), an Alabama native and former college basketball player, is on a two-fight winning streak taking into account the victory over Arlovski. He has been in the UFC since 2013.