UFC's Lavar "Big" Johnson suspended nine months, fine to be determined


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UFC heavyweight Lavar Johnson has received a nine-month suspension from the California State Athletic Commission after failing his post-fight drug test at UFC 157.

A concurrent fine hasn’t been set, but could range between $1,000 and $1,250, according to CSAC Executive Officer Andy Foster.

Johnson (17-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC), who lost a unanimous decision to Brendan Schaub (9-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) at the Feb. 23 pay-per-view event, said he won’t appeal the suspension, Foster today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

In a recent discussion, Johnson admitted he was undergoing testosterone replacement therapy, Foster said, but failed to disclose it on a pre-fight medical questionnaire.

Heidi Seibert Adams, a PR rep for American Kickboxing Academy, said Johnson may seek an exemption for the treatment in the future. She added that as of yet, the UFC has not taken any punitive action against the fighter.

Foster initially said Johnson had been flagged for elevated testosterone, but today clarified that an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio of 6.6-to-1 triggered a carbon isotope ratio (CIR) test that confirmed the testosterone in Johnson “was consistent with the administration of a steroid.”

The CSAC’s acceptable T/E ratio is 4-to-1, which mirrors that of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

All other competitors tested at UFC 157 came back negative for performance-enhancers and drugs of abuse. The event took place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Strikeforce vet Johnson opened his UFC career with a pair of highlight-reel knockouts over Joey Beltran and Pat Barry, but stumbled with losses to Stefan Struve and Schaub.

Recently, the UFC released middleweight Riki Fukuda after he tested positive for a trio of stimulants – phenylpropanolamine, norpseudoephedrine and ephedrine – in the wake of a decision loss to Brad Tavares at UFC on FUEL TV 8. He blamed the failure on a cold medication he took weeks prior to the bout.

Additionally, Alex Caceres was suspended and ordered to undergo drug treatment for a positive marijuana test at the March 2 event. His win over Kyung Ho Kang was overturned to a no-contest.

For complete coverage of UFC 157, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(Pictured: Lavar Johnson)

(Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET on March 21 to add that Johnson did not disclose his TRT use to the CSAC, and Johnson’s reps saying he may seek a future exemption.)

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