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UFC newcomer Zviad Lazishvili suspended nine months by NSAC for failed drug test

Lazishvili can fight again as early as July. 

Zviad Lazishvili has received a nine-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for a failed in-competition drug test ahead of his UFC debut last year.

The UFC bantamweight tested positive for a banned substance known as clomiphene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator. The NSAC has given Lazishvili a nine-month suspension and a fine of $1,800 (15 percent of his purse) and $326 in prosecution fees (H/T Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting). He will also be drug tested 30 days, 15 days and 3 days ahead of his next appearance, if it was to be in Nevada.

Lazishvili can fight again on July 24 as his suspension is retroactive to the date of his failed drug test.

Georgian MMA writer Giorgi Kokiashvili explained that his failure is in relation to his treatment of a number of injuries that have been plaguing Lazishvili.

“Let me clear the situation over Zviad Lazishvili and failed USADA drug test,” wrote Kokiashvili. “Since Zviad has so many injuries, he asked his Doctor to use ONLY the drugs which is ALLOWED by USADA. So now Zviad is in trouble because that Doctor made a mistake.”

The injuries were not identified, but it should be noted that Lazishvili was forced out of his original UFC debut against Jack Shore due to an undisclosed injury.

The 30-year-old would eventually fight under the UFC banner at UFC Vegas 41, where he suffered his first professional loss to Jonathan Martinez. He injured his right foot during that fight and later received a lengthy medial suspension from the NSAC, which could only be lifted once he got clearance from an orthopedic doctor. Whether Lazishvili did is unknown, but his medical suspension was until April 22, 2022.

Lazishvili has since addressed the suspension in a statement and revealed that he was diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance that required treatment. Though he specifically told doctors not to give him “steroids or anything”, the fighter was still prescribed clomiphene. Because this went against his request, he will appeal the suspension soon.

The full statement can be seen below (translated via Google):

“Hello my friends. I would like to appeal the decision of the NAC regarding my nine month disqualification,” wrote Lazishvili. “So, as you know I’ve been battling with traumas for the last 2 years and I've tried many different methods which resulted in other problems. Following chronic fatigue, insomnia and lack of energy, I had a study that diagnosed me with hormonal imbalance. [I] haven’t tried any self examinations or self medication, I officially turned to a doctor to have it under control. My main warning was that I am an athlete, I could have a fight at any time, I am undergoing very strict checks, so there should be no steroids or anything like that in the medication prescribed by my doctor. I was told this would definitely be considered.

“As a result, I was prescribed clomiphene. Anyone can subscribe to this miracle medicine for just $30. I checked my side of course, no steroids and got 100 grams, 2 admissions, but I stopped treatment the same day because of reflux. (I took the first tablet on October 16 and the second the next day). It was later discovered that this medication contained not a steroid but another banned substance. My main reason for going to the doctor was to get it under control. I know the main drugs that are banned, but I do not have the competence to know the micro-components of the drug or their names/analogues. (I am not a pharmacist, I’m sorry). There is an official letter confirming the mistake by the company and the doctor. At this time it’s all being reviewed by my lawyer for further legal action.

“This decision was very unexpected and undeserved for me. No one in their right mind would purposely take a banned medication before an expected and especially before such an important fight and risk their reputation. Unfortunately, we can not escape the reality, nor the damage done to us by unprofessional and incompetent people. Due to legal reasons, I can’t publish all the documents yet but you can see one of the correspondence about this clinic in the photo. Thanks for your attention!”