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Fabricio Werdum pleads innocence over positive USADA test: ‘I felt like a criminal’

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum claims he didn’t do anything wrong after testing positive for a performance enhancing substance.

Fabricio Werdum has finally broken his silence. In a recent interview for Combate, the former UFC heavyweight champion talked about his positive USADA drug test during an-out-of-competition exam back in April 2018. Werdum, who failed for banned substance trebolone was punished with a two-year ban from the sport.

In his interview, the 41-year-old said he was dumbfounded by the positive result. And he claims that the two-year punishment is far too long for the amount they found in his system.

“I never had a problem with USADA,” Werdum said. “Everytime they wanted to test me, I made myself available. I even got an USADA t-shirt after 25 tests, congratulating me for following the protocol. Every time they came to the gym I was like ‘USADA is here’ and everyone would jokingly boo. Karine, my wife, said that might have contributed to my suspension. I said there was no way, but now I think it did contribute. I spent over 50 thousand dollars in tests.”

“When you want to test a product to make sure it’s not contaminated, you need to pay one thousand dollars for product,” Werdum explained. “I tested seven products, protein, creatine and even chimarrao (a popular drink from Werdum’s homestate) herb. I had no idea where it was. I gave them I everything I took and it all came back negative. USADA is experienced, they know when an athlete is cycling, has bad intentions or when there is a contamination. What they found in my body was very little. There was no reason for this maximum punishment. They didn’t consider all the tests I put myself through.”

Furthermore, during his meeting with USADA agents, Werdum revealed that he could have had his penalty reduced, much like Jon Jones, if he shared information about other athletes who he knew were taking performance enhancing drugs. However, ‘Vai Cavalo’ claimed that ‘snitching’ would be against his principles.

“I spent five hours talking to USADA. I went from Los Angeles to Denver. I felt like a criminal. I know I didn’t do anything, but that’s how I felt. Two USADA guys, one detective analyzing me all the time. I felt so bad. I didn’t do anything, why is this happening? What surprised me the most was that, by the end of the interview, which I found absurd, they said to me: ‘Werdum, if you snitch on someone, we’ll lower your time, because you have to pay for something’. They say you’re responsible for whatever you take. A proposal like that, to rat someone out, that’s against my principles, even if I knew.”

Out of the game until 2020, Werdum says he’s not sure if he’ll still compete in the UFC. With two fights left in his contract, Fabricio will be 42 by the time he is allowed to fight again. But, the former champion says he is in a stable financial situation and could still fight in grappling tournaments to remain active, while his commentating job still provides an income.

“It’s hard to know you can’t do what you like,” Werdum admitted. “Financially, I’m all right. I have my business, my investments. I don’t want anyone to say when my career is over. I’ll end my career when I feel like it. It’s hard being denied to fight because of something you didn’t do. I get nervous even when I talk. I train everyday, of course it’s not as intense as a fight. I thought of grappling just to remain active. It’s an entire lifetime of fighting. I thought of fighting in another country. Everything’s too recent, I still need to talk to the UFC. I’ll see what I’ll do. I still have two fights left in my contract. Should I wait for those two years to pass? What will I do? I don’t know yet.”

In his last outing, back in March of this year, Fabricio Werdum was TKO’d by Alexander Volkov. The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak, with victories over the likes of Walt Harris and Marcin Tybura. Werdum will be able to return to active competition in May of 2020, once his suspension is up.