UFC welterweight Jesse Ronson on Tuesday said he’s been suspended for 20 months by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for a banned substance.
Ronson broke the news via his own Facebook page with additional sources confirming the information to MMA Fighting. USADA does not release information about an athlete’s suspension until the adjudication process has been completed, but Ronson took it upon himself to reveal the recent news.
According to Ronson, he tested positive for a substance called Metandienone, which is an androgen and anabolic steroid. Metandienone is well known as a physique and performance enhancing drug introduced and previously sold under the brand name Dianabol.
Anabolic steroids such as metandienone are banned at all times for athletes competing under the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
“It is with great surprise, and sadness that I have to inform you that I have received a suspension from USADA for the detection of a banned substance in my sample provided to them during an out of competition test,” Ronson wrote. “This has turned my world upside down as it’s a 20 month suspension. I haven’t slept much and have been sick to my stomach as I would never knowingly or purposely take a banned substance.
“USADA has been working with me for the last few weeks trying to find the reason for my failed test as they (USADA) along with me and my team believe it’s from a tainted supplement.”
Ronson said that he had the supplement tested that he believed was contaminated at a personal cost of $1,000, but the results came back clean without any traces of metandienone.
“I am at a loss as all the other supplements I was taking at the time have been consumed and I cannot send them in for testing to prove my innocence,” he wrote. “Despite the high cost of [$1,000] per supplement I would send them all in to clear my name and get a lesser suspension if I could but I can’t.
“Those who really know me know I would never take such a thing, as UFC is my dream job and goal and I have sacrificed so much of my time and life to achieve this goal and knowing USADA is very efficient and can drug test you at anytime and anywhere (blood and urine samples collected) and you have to provide your whereabouts 24/7 so they can come test you whenever. I would never jeopardize this by taking a steroid.”
The date of the test is unknown at this time, but Ronson just recently rejoined the UFC roster and picked up an impressive first-round submission over Nicolas Dalby in July. He earned a Performance of the Night bonus for that win in his first fight back in the UFC since 2014.
It appears Ronson will now sit out out for the next 20 months with a return to action not possible until 2022.
Despite his suspension, he added that he still stands in full support of USADA and the UFC’s drug testing program while maintaining his innocence in this particular case.
“As a man of my word I strongly support the term, ‘If you’re caught and you did it man up to it,” Ronson wrote. “I did not knowingly or purposely take this banned substance.”