Bellator lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov says he didn’t intentionally cheat and made a simple mistake before his fight with Brent Primus.
On Saturday, Nurmagomedov’s unanimous decision win was overturned to a no contest by the California State Athletic Commission, which suspended Nurmagomedov for six months and fined him $50,000 after he tested positive for an undisclosed banned substance stemming from an Oct. 6 drug test days before Bellator 300.
According to a settlement agreement signed by CSAC executive officer Andy Foster and Nurmagomedov, the champ “provided evidence that the prohibited substance was prescribed to him by a physician and maintains that the prohibited substance was prescribed for therapeutic use.”
In his first public comment on the situation, Nurmagomedov reiterated that claim Saturday night on Instagram.
“The results of my test revealed a prohibited substance that entered my body through medications, prescribed to me by a doctor,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “A few months before my fight, I was undergoing treatment, but unfortunately I did not notify the athletic commission in advance.”
Nurmagomedov requested a TUE after the fact but was denied by the commission.
It’s unclear how the no contest will affect Nurmagomedov’s status as Bellator lightweight champion or the promotion’s grand prix, given the fight with Primus was a semifinal. The fact that Bellator’s future beyond next week’s Bellator 301 event in Chicago is unclear complicates matters even further as it’s possible the promotion is acquired by or merges with PFL, which has long been talked about.
You can read Nurmagomoedov’s full statement below:
I would like to give a comment regarding latest news on my suspension. The results of my test revealed a prohibited substance that entered my body through medications, prescribed to me by a doctor. A few months before my fight, I was undergoing treatment, but unfortunately I did not notify the athletic commission in advance. I would like to note that the California state athletic commission conducted its own full investigation, where I provided all the necessary documents, doctor notes and medical certificates, thanks to which the period of my disqualification was reduced to 6 months, instead of longer suspensions accepted in such cases.