Alistair Overeem is to appear before the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 24 to explain why the random urine testing he underwent last month came back with elevated levels of testosterone.
NSAC sprang surprise tests on the six heavyweights attending a UFC 146 promotional press conference in Las Vegas several weeks ago. Results came back yesterday and Overeem was the sole fighter with a case to answer.
His levels were initially reported to be 10:1 (ratio of testosterone to oestrogen in the body) but the number has since been clarified as 14:1. This is well outside the normal range and is indicative of possible steroid or hormone use.
NSAC allows athletes to have a ratio of up to 6:1, which in itself incorporates a fairly reasonable margin of error that should ensure all but the most freakish of genetic specimens won’t fall victim to a false positive. Overeem has attributed his increasing bulk over the past few years to weights rather than genes, so he presumably won’t be arguing that he is a unique specimen.
Overeem gave two samples at the surprise test. So far only the A-sample has been tested. He has the right to request that the B-sample be tested as well, to rule out false-positive, but thus far no such request has been lodged with the Nevada authority. NSAC executive Keith Kizer says Overeem has provisionally arranged to appear before the next NSAC convention, which takes place on the 24th of this month.
If that comes off it will be the second time he has appeared before NSAC in a matter of months. Overeem was hauled before the body late last year to explain why he had left the US a day before a scheduled drug test ahead of the Brock Lesnar fight at UFC 141.
Overeem was able to show that he had bought a plane ticket to Holland a day before the drug test notification had been given to him, which meant he escaped censure. But he was placed under restrictions for his licensing, including a requirement that he pass a test on his return to the US and two subsequent random tests.
Unlike fighters who have obtained a license and then failed a post-fight test, Overeem is currently unlicensed by NSAC and so the body is restricted in punitive measures it can apply. Foremost would be denial of license which would mean the UFC 146 title fight with Dos Santos is scrapped. Overeem would then be barred from reapplying for a Nevada license for a year.
But that would not stop him applying in other jurisdictions later this year. Whereas suspensions of already-licensed fighters are upheld by all athletic commissions across the US there is substantial evidence that license-denials are not.
Overeem could therefore theoretically apply for a license in another state some months down the line and obtain clearance, although once NSAC got wind of the application it would perhaps contact the relevant athletic commission and register its concerns.