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Jim Wallhead accepts nine-month USADA suspension for contaminated supplement

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Another UFC fighter has fallen victim to a contaminated supplement.

UFC welterweight Jim Wallhead has accepted a nine-month suspension after failing an Oct. 7 out-of-competition drug test for ostarine and its metabolite as the result of a contaminated supplement, USADA announced Tuesday.

The UFC’s drug-testing partner determined that a dietary supplement product being taken by Wallhead was the root of the failed test, per a press release.

“Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement label, testing conducted on an independently sourced, unopened container of the product by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, indicated that it contained ostarine,” USADA stated. “The presence of an undisclosed prohibited substance in a product is regarded as contamination. Accordingly, the product has since been added to the High Risk List of supplements maintained on USADA’s online dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource.”

In cases of supplement contamination, the USADA sanction for a positive test generally ranges anywhere from no suspension to a two-year suspension, depending on aggravating circumstances and “the athlete’s degree of fault.” In Wallhead’s case, USADA determined that a truncated nine-month suspension was suitable due to the Englishman’s “failure to thoroughly research the contaminated supplement, or recognize the increased risk of purchasing a supplement from a supplier that also produces products with prohibited substances.”

Wallhead, 33, is the owner of an 0-2 record in his Octagon career, having lost back-to-back fights against Jessin Ayari and Luan Chagas, the former via split decision and the latter via second-round submission. Prior to that, the 13-year MMA veteran racked up four consecutive wins on the regional circuit, a run highlighted by three knockouts.

Wallhead (29-11) also holds past victories over UFC veterans Ryan Thomas, Che Mills, Matt Veach, and Frank Trigg.

His suspension retroactively begins on Oct. 7, the date of his positive test, meaning Wallhead will be cleared to return to active competition on July 7, 2018.

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