Longtime UFC lightweight Gleison Tibau is the latest Zuffa-contracted fighter to be suspended by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, following a potential violation from an out-of-competition drug test.
Tibau wrote in a statement to MMAFighting in reaction to his positive EPO test:
I’m not used to an easy life. Since I was a kid, I have fought for everything I’ve conquered, I have overcome adversities, and I’m really proud of who I am. I face this doping news as another stone that I have to take out of my way as a professional fighter and a correct citizen. As a responsible man that I am, I never believed I ingested something that could fantasize my performances. I make sure I have a healthy life outside the sport, and honest and clean inside the sport. I train hard, I do my best.
However, I can’t turn my back to a notification from USADA, an institution with credibility and a mission of stopping dirty game, doping. I will talk to my medical staff in the next days to find out where we made a mistake, and will do what we can in my trial. I fight professionally for 16 years, nine being inside the UFC, and was never in this situation. It tastes bad, like a loss inside the cage, but will be a big lesson, as experience to become more alert as an athlete of what can or can’t be done in the sport’s anti-doping policy.
I’m deeply sorry for what happened. I want to apologize to everyone involved, the UFC, American Top Team, my teammates and, of course, Abel Trujillo, who I fought on Nov. 7. I’m willing to give him a rematch, if he agrees. I’ve fought and defeated athletes that failed drug tests, like Polish athlete Piotr Hallman last September, and I know how bad it feels for the opponent.
I can’t forget to apologize to the fans, everyone that always supported me. I’m sure this time won’t be different, as I’m already getting messages and support through social media.
Fighting MMA is what I know to do, what I’ve chosen as a professional, my income. I take full responsibility for my actions, and I believe the justice will punish if needed, but also clear me if proven.
To the media, I thank the opportunity for giving me a voice in this complex moment that I’m living now, the toughest in my career. I trust in God so I can go back in action in my career in an honored way, like I always did.
The UFC said in a statement:
“The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has notified both Gleison Tibau and UFC that he has been provisionally suspended due to a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition test.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Gleison Tibau. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time in the process.”
Tibau’s potential failed test comes just weeks after former PRIDE heavyweight legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was suspended for two years after testing positive for and admitting to using human growth hormones to repair an injured shoulder.
The American Top Team 155-pound fighter is about a month removed from his latest outing inside the Octagon, defeating Abel Trujillo in a controversial first-round submission at UFC Fight Night 77 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was not scheduled to face anybody following his victory over the 32-year-old Blackzilian fighter.
He’s long been a staple in the UFC’s lightweight division, competing with 26 times since 2006. He holds victories over Jamie Varner, Jeremy Stephens and is one of two men to defeat current UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos since 2011.
Tibau has never failed a drug test before.