Days before 2017 ended, CJ “Golden Boy” de Tomas, 21, was informed that he was no longer under contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). On January 12, 2018, I had the opportunity to talk to the Filipino fighter at Brawlers’ Lab about his one-year suspension from the promotion.
USADA, Anti-Doping Policy
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, first informed De Tomas of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation. The UFC organization was then notified about this on December 29, 2017.
The violation came from an in-competition sample collected following De Tomas’s weigh-in on December 8, 2017. It was one day before he lost to Alex Perez via anaconda choke submission at “UFC Fight Night 123.”
“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed,” the UFC explained in a statement. The promotion added that the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) retains jurisdiction over the matter because the sample collection was performed the day before de Tomas’s bout that took place in Fresno, California.
The USADA will work to make sure that the CSAC has the necessary information to determine its proper judgment of the potential anti-doping violation of de Tomas, the UFC stated. More information will be provided “at the appropriate time as the process moves forward,” according to the promotion.
There was a time when De Tomas and his father were not in good terms because the father felt like the son was no longer obeying him. At the time, the father recommended a dietitian to his UFC fighter son.
To appease his father, De Tomas followed the dietitian’s instructions including taking a certain tablet. The young Filipino UFC fighter said he tried the tablet for almost a month but it did not show significant effects on him.
Two months before “UFC Fight Night 123,” De Tomas stopped taking the tablet. He also stopped meeting the dietitian recommended by his father.
Weeks after “UFC Fight Night 123,” the USADA revealed the detection of low Furosemide from an in-competition sample collected from De Tomas during his weigh-in. Because of this, he was suspended from the UFC for one year.
Furosemide is a diuretic that can be used as a masking agent for steroids. Available as both a generic and a brand-name drug called Lasix, this oral tablet can help cut weight, treat high blood pressure or treat edema. (Check the list of substances banned by the USADA here.)
De Tomas is not the first UFC fighter who tested positive for a diuretic. In December 2016, the UFC was notified of a potential USADA doping violation by Cris “Cyborg” Justino Venancio, 32, but in February 2017, she was granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) because her doctor administered the diuretic Spironolactone to her after her extreme weight cuts in 2016.
In 2009, Mexican middleweight boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., 31, also tested positive for Furosemide. Because of this, his win over Troy Rowland was reversed to No Contest.
One-year Suspension, Mentoring
If de Tomas could back and do things differently, he would do sufficient research first before taking any substance, he told me. On the other hand, he believes that he is still young and has much time to grow and make things right not only as a fighter but as a person in general.
After the one-year suspension from the UFC, de Tomas chooses to see the silver lining. Now, he has more time to spend with his wife and his daughter and he can accept more sponsorship deals.
Aspiring MMA fighters may train under the young Filipino UFC fighter at Brawlers’ Lab, a gym owned by Coach Gabay Forlales. The gym is located in Valenzuela City, Metro Manila.
Watch my full interview with de Tomas here: