3 Women's MMA Fighters Who Have Tested Positive for PED's, Other Than Cyborg
PED use is a controversial topic in MMA, but one that remains an important one for obvious reasons. In the age of USADA, we’re seeing more and more athletes get busted for doping, because of the rigorous of testing that’s now being done in the highest levels of the sport.
When discussing athletes in MMA that have been popped for steroids, Cris Cyborg, is always one of the first names to enter into the conversation. While she was suspended for a year back in 2011 and again flagged in 2016 (although she was let off the hook), she’s certainly not the only woman who has been caught cheating. Let’s take a look at some lesser known cases that you may have missed while skimming the headlines.
1. Jessica Penne
UFC strawweight Jessica Penne received an 18-month suspension from USADA for testing positive for a banned substance. Although Penne claimed that she was perspectived the substance, dehydroepiandrosterone, by a doctor, said physician did not agree with said accusation. Somehow, this still resulted in her getting 6 months off of her suspension time.
2. Jessica Eye
Jessica ‘Evil’ Eye was flagged for having marijuana in her post-fight drug test after her bout against Sarah Kaufman back at UFC 166. Now, cannabis is not actually a performance enhancing drug, insomuch that it doesn’t do anything to enhance athlete performance. If anything, it probably reduces it. But, it’s still not allowed to be in your system before or after a fight.
3. Cynthia Calvillo
Another fighter flagged for cannabis, Cynthia Calvillo was flagged for THC after her first professional loss to Carla Esparza at UFC 219. The Nevada State Athletic commission banned her for 9 months, as well as fined her 15% of her fight purse, for the violation. She says that because the drug is legal in the state, she didn’t believe she was “doing anything wrong.” “It’s something that I discussed with [UFC vice president of athlete health and performance] Jeff Novitzky before, even once I got into the UFC in terms of the usage of marijuana,” she said during an interview on the MMA Hour. “ So I’ve done this safely every single fight, I’ve been tested every day the day of my fight and it’s never been an issue before.” Despite this, Calvillo still faces the penalty and suspects she lost her sponsorship with Body Armor because of it.
Although we wanted to make this list longer to include more women who have been popped, to show that it’s not only Cris Cyborg who has broken the rules...there weren’t really any other cases that could be found that weren’t based on speculation. So, perhaps PED and steroid usage among female fighters really isn’t a big problem, at least one we can’t yet point to with actual facts and evidence.