Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort (Pictures) and 1996 Olympic gold medalist judoka Pawel Nastula (Pictures) tested positive for banned substances following their defeats at PRIDE 32 ?Real Deal,? reports MMAWeekly.com.
According to the report, the NSAC claims Belfort tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone, an anabolic agent known for its anti-estrogenic properties and short half-life. Meanwhile, the Polish grappler provided a sample tainted with nandrolone (commonly referred to as Deca Durabolin) which is used for rapidly building muscle and enhancing recovery from injury.
PRIDE confirmed to Sherdog.com that of the 10 fighters tested following Saturday’s card, only Belfort and Nastula came back positive. An official in PRIDE’s American office declined to comment on the news without first speaking to Nobuyuki Sakakibara, CEO of PRIDE promoter Dream Stage Entertainment.
This marks the first time PRIDE-promoted fighters have officially tested positive for anabolic steroids. PRIDE, which is not overseen by any sanctioning or regulatory bodies in Japan, has not to this point mandated testing of performance-enhancing drugs for its Japanese events.
Belfort is no stranger to the drug testing policies of North American regulatory bodies. Having fought in five main events in Nevada and California, Belfort, at a minimum, has returned clean tests a handful of times. This past Saturday, the Brazilian lost by decision in a mid-card bout against American Dan Henderson (Pictures).
For Nastula, who has no history of abusing performance-enhancing through his storied judo career, which includes Olympic gold in Atlanta, Saturday marked the first time he was tested by a regulatory body after a mixed martial arts contest.
Ironically, Nastula fell in Las Vegas to former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett (Pictures), the first high-profile MMA casualty of Nevada’s drug testing policy. Prior to his bout against Nastula, Barnett was required to provide a drug-free urinalysis so that the NSAC could license him to fight in the States for the first time since being suspended in 2002.
Barnett was also among the fighters ? PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, Mark Coleman, Mauricio Rua, Kevin Randleman, Dan Henderson, Phil Baroni, and Yosuke Nishijima? who tested clean.
Belfort and Nastula join Kimo Leopoldo and Stephan Bonnar in a well known quartet of mixed martial artists caught, either pre- or post-fight, by regulatory bodies in 2006 with illegal performance-enhancers in their system.
The Brazilian and Polish fighters now face the possibility of suspension and/or fines by the NSAC."