Fabricio Werdum, a former UFC heavyweight champion from Brazil who tested positive for trenbolone, was promised a shorter suspension if he agreed to snitch on someone else using anabolic steroids. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) pressured him to take the deal but he firmly rejected the offer.
Werdum tested positive for the anabolic steroid trenbolone and its primary metabolite epi-trenbolone arising from an out-of-competition urine sample collected on April 25, 2018. It was the first time that Werdum had run afoul of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. A first time anti-doping rules violation warrants a two-year suspension unless USADA determines that the athlete was “without fault or negligence” or if the athlete agrees to provide “substantial assistance”.
“Substantial assistance” is often, but not always, used by USADA as a euphemism for “snitching”. Werdum claimed that USADA investigators explicitly asked him “to tell on someone” in exchange for a shorter sentence. Such a quid pro quo arrangement is, for all intents and purposes, considered snitching.
“It was what you could call ‘delacao premiada’,” Werdum told the Combate MMA television channel in Brazil. “‘Werdum, if you tell on someone’ – using the slang, if you’re a snitch – ‘we’ll shorten your suspension. Because you’re going to have to pay something. Even if we find the substance in any of the products we test, even if we find it, you’ll have to pay something.’”
Suspended Fabricio Werdum says he turned down USADA's request to snitch https://t.co/KyCz7BhJwh
— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) September 30, 2018
Werdum refused to snitch on any other athlete in order to receive special consideration from USADA. The 41-year old MMA athlete could have returned to competition as early as next year if he snitched. But snitching was against his principles.
“For the guy to make me an offer like that, to snitch on someone, that goes against my principles. I can’t tell on someone. Even if I knew, I wouldn’t do it. How am I going to snitch on someone to make it better for me, to lower my suspension or whatever?”
Werdum claimed that USADA acted like police investigators and strongly pressured him to become a snitch. Two USADA investigators interrogated Werdum for 5 hours in a Denver hotel room. Werdum was made to feel like a criminal.
“I felt like a criminal, actually,” Werdum said. “I know I didn’t do anything, but it felt like I was a criminal, like (I was talking to) the police. Two USADA guys, a detective analyzing me all the time. Both were USADA. I felt so bad, you know? Like, I didn’t do anything. Why am I doing this? And it lasted five hours.”
Current UFC light-heavyweight and heavyweight double champion Daniel Cormier suggested that UFC athletes who test positive for steroids are regularly asked to snitch by USADA in exchange for shorter sentences. Cormier also believes that the ones who accept the deal and agree to snitch are handsomely rewarded by USADA. Cormier recently called out former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones who only received a 15-month suspension after testing positive for Oral Turinabol in a second anti-doping violation.
“You are actually a SNITCH! You think you’re the only one that’s been offered this deal?” Cormier said on Instagram. “No, you’re just the only scumbag low enough to take it! Which one of your teammates did you tell on to get this joke of a punishment from USADA!”
USADA reduced Jones’ suspension by a whopping 30-months in exchange for his ongoing “substantial cooperation” in its fight against doping in UFC MMA.
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So here we go again Jonny boy. First off, if you did nothing wrong and were “innocent“ then you’d have never been suspended. You’ve had to stand before these people and arbitrators so many times it’s insane. So you slipped again, how many times can one man slip? I’ve been tested 70 times and I haven’t slipped once. How do you explain that? And on top of all the cheating you’ve done around UFC 182, UFC 200 and UFC 214 that’s not even the straw that broke the camel’s back. You are actually a SNITCH! You think you’re the only one that’s been offered this deal? No, you’re just the only scumbag low enough to take it! Which one of your teammates did you tell on to get this joke of a punishment from USADA! I thought there was nothing lower than a cheater but it’s not surprising that you show me a whole new level. You’re a cheater and a SNITCH! Get off my page and go do some coke, or steroids or whatever you losers do in your spare time. #doublechamp