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Alistair Overeem blames anti-inflammatory medication containing testosterone for elevated T/E ratio, failed test

Alistair Overeem said medication caused a failed drug test on March 27 (AP)

Hulking heavyweight Alistair Overeem, who lost a shot at the UFC heavyweight title when he failed a March 27 random drug test administered to him by the Nevada Athletic Commission, said in a statement Monday released by his management team that the reason for his failure was medication he was given to treat a rib injury.

Overeem, who had a 14:1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio that was more than twice the legal limit of 6:1 in Nevada, was on Friday pulled from the title fight against champion Junior dos Santos that was to be the main event of UFC 146 on May 26 in Las Vegas by UFC president Dana White and replaced by Frank Mir.

[Related: Frank Mir will now face Junior dos Santos for the heavyweight belt at UFC 146]

The failure was first announced by the Nevada commission on April 4, noting that Overeem's T/E ratio exceeded 10:1. The next day, it announced that the exact number was 14:1.

Overeem had a hearing scheduled in front of the Nevada commission on Tuesday, but White said Saturday after UFC 145, "I'm not too optimistic" that Overeem would get licensed and that the UFC had marketing deadlines it had to meet. He said the UFC couldn't deal with the uncertainty and ultimately pitted Mir against dos Santos.

[Related: Dana White infuriated by Alistair Overeem's positive test]

In his statement, Overeem said in March he was given an anti-inflammatory medication, which he did not identify, that was mixed with testosterone to treat a rib injury.

His elevated T/E ratio was discovered following a surprise test given by the Nevada commission on March 27 to all six of the heavyweights who were participating in a news conference that day. The others -- dos Santos, Mir, Cain Velasquez, Antonio "Big Foot" Silva and Roy Nelson -- all passed the test.

Prior to the UFC 146 press conference in March, I aggravated an old rib injury on my left side. My doctor prescribed, and I accepted, an anti-inflammatory medication that was mixed with testosterone. I was completely unaware that testosterone was one of the ingredients in the medication. Although I was unaware, I do realize it is my job to know what I am putting into my body.

Overeem has fought under a cloud of suspicion for years, though he had never failed a test previously. He used to fight as a light heavyweight at 205 pounds, but moved to heavyweight and bulked his body up tremendously.

In his statement, Overeem vehemently denied using PEDs and supported the commission. His entire statement:

To my friends and fans,

I am deeply saddened to announce that on Friday, April 20, I respectfully withdrew from the May 26 event so that I can request a continuance until my situation with the Nevada State Athletic Commission is resolved.

I cannot express how sorry I am to the Commission, Junior Dos Santos, the fans, the owners and employees of the UFC, my friends and family and anyone else who this has affected.

I absolutely do not believe in, nor do I use performance-enhancing drugs. I am a clean fighter and I will do whatever it takes to prove this to everyone.

Prior to the UFC 146 press conference in March, I aggravated an old rib injury on my left side. My doctor prescribed, and I accepted, an anti-inflammatory medication that was mixed with testosterone. I was completely unaware that testosterone was one of the ingredients in the medication. Although I was unaware, I do realize it is my job to know what I am putting into my body.

I respect the Nevada Commissioners and Executive Director Keith Kizer and what they are doing to keep the sport of mixed martial arts regulated and safe for athletes. I look forward to working with them in the days and weeks ahead.

Friends and fans, I ask for your patience as I work through this matter. Please support me. I promise to return to the Octagon soon.

There is no date set for Overeem's formal hearing. He is facing no punishment because he did not have a license at the time of the test, but he would have to explain the elevated ratios to the athletic commission when he applies for a license after he's ready to fight again. He can choose not to apply for a license in Nevada again, but he almost certainly wouldn't be able to fight in the state unless and until he met the commission face to face and explained himself, even if he does so elsewhere first.

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