With all of the news centered around the failed drug tests of Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones, perhaps it's easy to forget that Chad Mendes also failed his own out-of-competition test just a month ago. Mendes later tweeted that he "didn't do his homework" and was going to pay for his mistake. In a press release issued on Wednesday, USADA confirmed that Mendes will be banned for two years (dating back to his provisional suspension on June 10th, 2016), and also revealed what he popped for.
"USADA announced today that UFC athlete Chad Mendes, of Sacramento, Calif., has received a two-year sanction for an anti-doping policy violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance.
Mendes, 31, tested positive for GHRP-6 (Growth Hormone-Releasing Hexapeptide) following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on May 17, 2016. GHRP-6 is a prohibited substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Growth Hormone-Releasing Peptides are listed as Non-Specified Substances on the WADA Prohibited List. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the standard sanction for an anti-doping policy violation involving a Non-Specified Substance is a two-year period of ineligibility."
As Bloody Elbow's Iain Kidd notes, this is not a case of Mendes using growth hormones, which is an important distinction to make.
Reminder: hGH is NOT the same thing as GHRP-6. GHRP-6 is designed to increase growth hormone production. hGH is synthetic growth hormone.— Iain Kidd (@iainkidd) July 20, 2016
GHRP-6 is like clomiphene - designed to improve your body's natural production. hGH is like steroids or testosterone - exogenous increase.— Iain Kidd (@iainkidd) July 20, 2016
Mendes (17-4) is coming off consecutive losses to Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar, with McGregor getting a TKO win at UFC 189, while Edgar recorded an outright KO at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale. He also lost a championship bout to Jose Aldo at UFC 179 in a thrilling contest, but bounced back with a stoppage victory vs. Ricardo Lamas in April 2015.
The 31-year-old will now be on the sidelines, unable to return to the Octagon until he's 33, and otherwise at a point in his career where he failed to beat any of the top 3 fighters (McGregor, Aldo, Edgar) in his division.