Another random drug test, another failure. Flyweight contender Ali Bagautinov tested positive for EPO prior to his UFC 174 title bout against Demetrious Johnson, which led to the athletic commission suspending him for 1 year. UFC officials has since released a statement on the test failure:
"UFC 174 competitor Ali Bagautinov has been suspended by the British Columbia Athletic Commission for testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO). He was also informed that his positive test violated the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and Promotional Agreement with Zuffa, LLC. The UFC has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents by our athletes. Bagautinov will serve a one-year suspension and must pass a drug test at the conclusion of his suspension before receiving clearance to compete in the UFC again."
Chael Sonnen also recently tested positive for EPO, which is designed to increase stamina for athletes. It's also the drug that Lance Armstrong has admitted to using in the past, as it is not only effective, it is also said to clear up from your system in just a few hours, making it incredibly hard to catch people who take it.
So it's either Sonnen and Bagautinov both mistimed it completely, or the newer technology available for these types of drug test really does lengthen the window where they can catch these athletes. We may not know for sure, but this should be an even bigger warning sign for those thinking of skirting the rules, as in a span of a few weeks, two fighters were caught with banned substances that were previously said to be 'undetectable'.