Marc-Andre Barriault prevailed in his must-win bout vs. Oskar Piechota, but a failed drug test puts both his win and his overall future with the UFC in jeopardy.
The Canadian middleweight tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine in an in-competition sample collected by the Nevada State Athletic Commission back in June. On Wednesday, the commission extended Barriault’s temporary suspension as he awaits his hearing.
In a statement to Yahoo Sports, Barriault denied knowingly using Ostarine and believed that a contaminated supplement resulted in the positive.
Following a communication from the Nevada State Athletic Commission last week, I wanted to clarify the current situation to all my fans, the medias and everybody involved in the sport of mixed martial arts.
I was notified last week that an in-competition sample that I provided to the NSAC the night of my last fight on June 20th, 2020 was positive for an extremely low level (approximately 190 picograms or 190 parts per trillion) of the prohibited substance, Ostarine. First and foremost, I want to make things crystal clear, I did not intentionally use Ostarine, nor have I ever knowingly used any prohibited substance in my career. Since the beginning of my professional career, I have been tested three times by the Quebec athletic commission, and a total of seven times under the UFC/USADA program and have always tested negative.
Since I found out about this last week, I have learned quite a bit about Ostarine, specifically that it is commonly found as a low-level contaminant in certain dietary supplements, often at levels that provide absolutely no performance enhancing benefit. I strongly believe that a supplement contaminant is the reason for my low-level positive, and I am actively working with the UFC on reviewing and testing supplements that I have used prior to my June 20th fight, in the hope of identifying the culprit.
While I am extremely disappointed in this development, I am looking forward to finding a definitive explanation for my low-level positive test, to fully cooperating with the NSAC and to getting back to work in the Octagon soon.
Ostarine has been the center of attention for other UFC fighters who have claimed or successfully proven that they ingested a tainted supplement. In June, Rachael Ostovich received a one-year suspension from USADA after a tainted supplement turned up both Ostarine and GW1516. Diego Sanchez received a three-month ban, whereas Tom Lawlor was a victim of bad timing and probably wouldn’t have gotten a two-year ban if USADA had handled his case in 2019 compared to a couple of years prior.
Barriault (12-4) lost his first three UFC appearances before stopping Piechota in June. Piechota has already been released from his contract, so this was no doubt a “loser leaves town” bout.
In addition to Barriault, NAC also extended the temp bans of Jamahal Hill, Tim Elliott, and Luis Pena after they all tested positive for the dreaded marijuana. Elliott and Pena lost their bouts, so their records will be unaffected, but Hill’s win over Klidson Abreu is at risk of being flipped to a no contest.