The show will go on at UFC 244 next Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
More than a day after headliner Nate Diaz put the main event in doubt with a murky announcement regarding a potential drug violation, Diaz was cleared of any wrongdoing and will take on Jorge Masvidal as scheduled, the UFC announced early Saturday morning.
According to a statement released by the UFC, Diaz did not commit any anti-doping violations and will not be suspended or subject to any sanctions despite the presence of banned substance LGD-4033, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) also known as Ligandrol used as a performance enhancer, in an out-of-competition sample provided by Diaz.
While the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency reviewed the test as an atypical finding, further lab testing confirmed “two bottles of the same organic, vegan, plant-based daily multivitamin that Mr. Diaz was using were each contaminated with” the banned substance, according to the UFC’s statement.
“Mr. Diaz has not committed an anti-doping policy violation, has not been provisionally suspended and is not subject to any sanctions,” the statement said. “Additionally, UFC has been informed by independent experts who have determined that there is unequivocally no appreciable performance enhancing or therapeutic benefit from the significantly limited amount of LGD-4033 that may be present in his system, which is roughly 10,000 times lower than one LGD-4033 therapeutic dose.”
Late Thursday afternoon, Diaz sent the MMA world into chaos when he tweeted this: "Your all on steroids not me."
Diaz indicated that he had been flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which administers the UFC’s drug testing program, during an out-of-competition test. According to USADA's athlete testing history website, Diaz has been tested seven times so far this year.
"I'm not gonna make it out to NYC for fight week next week because they say I tested with elevated levels that they say might be from some tainted supplements," Diaz wrote in his note on Twitter. "I call false on that cause I only take Whole Food or natural food supplements. I don't even eat meat. So until UFC, Usada or whoever is [expletive] with me fixes it, I won't be competing. I'm not gonna play their game and try and hide it or keep quite (sic), as they suggested. I'm not gonna have my name tainted as a cheater like the other [expletive] who keep quiet until after the fight just to so that they can get paid. [expletive] cheaters."
Masvidal offered his support for Diaz on Twitter: "You not the baddest [expletive] in the game (i am) but you are one of the cleanest [expletive] @NateDiaz209 I’ll see you nov 2. I know your name is clean."
Diaz and Masvidal are scheduled to face each other in a welterweight main event on Nov. 2 for a ceremonial belt for the "baddest" in the game.
With Mark La Monica