Chad Mendes reveals substance that cost him a 2-year suspension
Chad Mendes didnít ask for sympathy or plead for mercy after testing positive for a banned substance, no matter how much he insists he wasnít trying to cheat.
The former three-time title contender was recently suspended for two years after testing positive for a substance called GHRP-6 in an out-of-competition sample collected by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency). By definition, GHRP-6 is a growth hormone peptide.
Mendes hasnít said anything since the two-year ban was handed down by USADA a week ago, but he finally broke his silence in a new interview with The Drive in Sacramento, in which he talked about the drug responsible for the positive test.
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"GHRP-6 is what it was. Before all this came out, I had no idea what the hell that stuff was," Mendes explained. "When my test results came back and they told me thatís what I tested positive for, I was like I donít even know what that is. I started doing a bunch of research and one thing I want to clear up to the people calling me Ďroid headí and Ďjuice headí and stuff like that ó this isnít even a steroid. Itís a peptide."
According to Mendes, the substance containing GHRP-6 was a cream that he used to treat plaque psoriasis, which is a skin condition heís been dealing with for years.
A lot of people use it for skin treatments. It's basically an anti-aging peptide. Basically what I was using it for, I've suffered from plaque psoriasis my entire life. "I have it all over my shins, my entire scalp is covered in it, itís all over my ears, I get a big patch of it on my side. Iíve had that since I can even remember," Mendes said.
Mendes said heís used just about every treatment under the sun to control the psoriasis on his body, but nothing has really helped in the past.
The cream he used containing GHRP-6 was just the latest in a long line of options Mendes has tried while keeping the skin condition at bay.
"Iíve tried going seeing specialists and thereís a couple options I can do with them and itís like take a pill, which is god awful for your liver and just tears your stomach up. Thereís ointments and creams that theyíve given me but those destroy my immune system," Mendes said. "Iím training like two or three times a day during a training camp. If Iím putting this stuff on at night before bed or something, I canít be getting sick throughout my training camp. I canít be getting sick right before a fight. Itís just not an option so I canít use those.
"Theyíve talked about giving me a shot and Iíve done research on that and thatís also super bad on your liver."
Once Mendes found out the cause behind his positive test, he knew there was no way to fight the oncoming sanctions from USADA as a result.
Of course he was disappointed to concede to a two year suspension for using skin cream to help his psoriasis, but Mendes knows it was still his fault for doing it without checking the ingredients first.
"This was one of the cases that it had something in it that was on the USADA Ďbanned listí. My situation was just kind of bad luck I feel. Ultimately, I broke the rules. Did I use it? Of course. I didnít try to go to USADA and try to make up some BS story, trying to lie my way out of it," Mendes said.
"I broke the rules. Whether itís intentional or not, itís still breaking the rules. I told them I donít expect any special treatment."
Mendes already had planned on sitting out for all of 2016 to rest and recover after back-to-back losses to Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar last year, while also launching a new celebrity hunting business at home in California.
Now heíll be forced to sit out for two full years while waiting for his suspension to be lifted and while the time off stings, Mendes knows crying about it wonít do him any good either.
"Two years is a long time, especially in this sport, especially for a first-time offender, especially over something that is not a steroid," Mendes said. "Itís a tough situation. There are rules, they are in place, I think USADAís doing a great job with that and I canít be the one to break the rule and then be like ĎI want special treatment.í Itís just tough.