Chris Leben tested positive for two painkillers following UFC
138. | Photo: Sherdog.com
Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight Chris Leben
has been suspended for one year by the Las Vegas-based organization
after testing positive for banned substances.
According to a release issued Monday by
UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC, Leben’s post-fight drug screen
138 came back positive for the painkillers oxycodone and
oxymorphone. The remaining 19 fighters from the Nov. 5 card passed
their drug tests, per the promotion.
“I like Chris and I want him to do well, but based on his actions,
he’s been suspended for one year,” said UFC President Dana White in
a prepared statement. “If he needs professional help, we are going
to be there for him. We want to see him succeed not only in the
Octagon, but in his personal life.”
UFC 138, the main event of which saw Leben stopped after two rounds
Munoz, was held at LG Arena in Birmingham, England. Since
England has no sanctioning body for MMA, the UFC contracts
independent companies to administer drug tests when promoting
events in the country. Leben was previously suspended by the UFC in
October 2008 after testing positive for the anabolic steroid
stanozolol following a three-round decision loss to Michael
Bisping in Birmingham.
“I would like to make it known that I fully accept this suspension
and apologize for embarrassing the UFC, my friends and family, and
[the] sport of mixed martial arts,” Leben, 31, stated on Monday.
“I’m learning that I’m my own worst enemy sometimes. I can’t
succeed in the Octagon or in life behaving this way. I’ve got to
make some real changes over the next year, and I’m going to focus
on getting my life and career back on track.”
Failed drug tests have not been the only turbulence for Leben in
recent years. During his UFC career, the “Ultimate Fighter” alumnus
has twice been arrested for driving under the influence: an April
2008 incident in Oregon and an October 2010 arrest in Hawaii.
In spite of his tribulations, Leben strung together a trio of solid
wins in 2010, besting Yoshihiro
Simpson and Jay Silva, and
earning the title of Sherdog.com’s Comeback Fighter of the Year.
The “Crippler” would go 1-2 in 2011, with a knockout of Wanderlei
Silva sandwiched between stoppage losses to Munoz and Brian Stann.