Artwork by Grimoire
Here’s a fact: In December 2011, Cris “Cyborg” Justino (then Santos) tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid commonly used as a performance-enhancing drug, despite being banned by the International Association of Athletics Federations. The California Athletic State Commission suspended Cyborg’s license for one year and fined the fighter $2,500. Her December 17 fight against Hiroko Yamanaka was ruled a no contest.
Here’s another fact: December 2011 was four and a half years ago.
And one more: Justino has not once tested positive for stanozolol or any other performance enhancing drug since her return to the sport in April 2013. She is at least as clean as every other MMA fighter who has consistently tested negative for banned substances in the past three years.
And yet that one admittedly terrible choice continues to haunt Cyborg in a way that it doesn’t follow other fighters of a similar profile.
On an institutional level, it’s been used as an excuse to deny her opportunities while the likes of Ronda Rousey and even Dana White himself have openly mocked in ways that extend far beyond the boundaries of the fighter’s actual transgression. At the same time, the positive tests of fighters like Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alistair Overeem, Nate Marquardt (who was fired from the UFC for his transgressions and has since worked his way back), and Anderson Silva, among others (see Cage Potato’s timeline on MMA steroid busts for a more definite collection of names) have left little to no permanent mark on their careers or reputations.
Cyborg called out this hypocrisy in a Facebook post last fall, writing: “Hmmmm … someone has tested positive for steroids before fighting for a world championship in the UFC, but you are allowed to fight, and took nearly three years before the public finds ….View full article