What should have been a joyous week for Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Stephan Bonnar was tainted by news that he failed a drug test for the second time in his storied career.
The Las Vegan, 35, became a father for the first time with the birth of his son and also officially announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
Then came the news that Bonnar tested positive for drostanolone, an anabolic steroid, following his main-event loss to UFC superstar Anderson Silva in Brazil on Oct. 13.
Bonnar did not respond to a request for comment.
Bonnar, largely credited with helping to save the UFC from financial peril in 2005 with an epic fight against Forrest Griffin on cable television when the organization’s debt was soaring, tested positive for a different steroid after a second loss to Griffin in 2006.
The UFC served as the athletic commission for UFC 153 in Brazil, where there is no formal oversight in place, with former Nevada Athletic Commission chief and current UFC vice president Marc Ratner in charge.
Bonnar wasn’t the only fighter on the card to test positive; heavyweight Dave Herman was flagged for marijuana.
It was also a second offense for Herman, who was pulled from an October 2011 bout when a prefight screening was positive for marijuana, though Herman denied usage at the time.
The UFC issued a statement on the positive tests Friday.
“UFC has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents,” the statement read. “Both fighters have admitted taking the banned substances and have orally agreed to suspensions. Once the suspensions have been reduced to written agreements, the results of their tests and the agreed upon suspensions will be sent to the Association of Boxing Commissions official record-keeper so other jurisdictions will be on notice.”
The length of the suspensions might not have any bearing on their UFC careers. Herman lost to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, his third straight defeat, which might have had him on his way out of the organization anyway. Bonnar already had announced his retirement before news of the failed drug test, issuing a brief statement on Twitter.
“Huge thanks to every UFC fan out there!” Bonnar posted. “All I ever wanted was to bring ya’ll some fun … hope u were entertained. Peace, love, & violence!”
■ FOX SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED – UFC officials on Monday released a partial schedule of events for network broadcasts in 2013, starting with a Fox network card Jan. 26 in Chicago.
The schedule also revealed the April 27 light heavyweight title fight between Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones will take place in Newark, N.J.
The other Fox network events for 2013 will take place April 20, July 27 and Dec. 14 at sites to be determined.
Additionally, the release included a Feb. 16 international event on Fuel TV.
■ EARLY-MORNING ACTION – The UFC’s first foray into China means fans back in the United States will have to get up very early Saturday to watch the action live.
The first preliminary fight on the UFC on Fuel TV 6 card from Macau will stream live on Facebook at 4:15 a.m.
The televised portion of the card, featuring a middleweight main event between Rich Franklin and Cung Le, will air live on Fuel TV (Cable 319) at 6 a.m.
The main card also features a light heavyweight bout between Thiago Silva and unbeaten Stanislav Nedkov, and a lightweight bout pitting Mac Danzig against Takanori Gomi.
■ MIDDLEWEIGHT CONTENDERS CLASH – The UFC has announced Michael Bisping will fight Las Vegan Vitor Belfort, who will return to middleweight following an unsuccessful light heavyweight title challenge against Jon Jones.
The bout headlines UFC on FX 7 on Jan. 19 in Brazil at a site to be determined.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.