UFC heavyweight issued with multi-year suspension for drug test violations

UFC heavyweight issued with multi-year suspension for drug test violations

Walt Harris, a 16-fight veteran of the UFC’s heavyweight division, has been issued with a four-year suspension from mixed martial arts competition after being found to have acted in violation of the organisation’s anti-doping policy. 

Harris, 40, was scheduled to fight Josh Parisian in a UFC event last July but the bout was pulled the the promotion’s former drug-testing partner, USADA.  It is the first suspension issued by Combat Sports Anti-Doping (CSAD) since it assumed the UFC’s drug-testing protocols at the start of 2024.

Per CSAD, Harris tested positive for numerous banned substances across three tests conducted between June 24 and August 6 of last year. This included the presence of drostanalone, anastrozole and exogenous testosterone.

“Drostanolone and testosterone are anabolic steroids and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (UFC ADP) and UFC Prohibited List,” a statement issued by CSAD said on Wednesday.

As a result, Harris will be suspended for a period of four years backdated to when he was first notified of the findings of the tests. This means that the heavyweight fighter will be eligible to return to action in July 2027. He last competed in the cage in June 2021.

Prior to his proposed bout with Parisian last year, Harris had lost three straight UFC fights against Marcin Tybura, Alexander Volkov and Alistair Overeem.

Harris’ overall career shows a 13-10 (1) record, with a 6-9 (1) tally in the UFC. He had previously been issued with a suspension for failing a drug test following a split decision win against Andrei Arlovski in December 18. The result was changed to a no contest, though Harris’ suspension was just four months after he was able to prove that the failed test was the result of consuming a tainted supplement.

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