Overeem flatly denies steroid use

UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem, who meets Brock Lesnar on Dec. 30 in the main event of UFC 141 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas in a battle of massive heavyweights, said flatly Tuesday that he is not a steroid user.

Overeem, who added 50 pounds of muscle to his frame in the past four or five years, said he would support random pre-fight testing for all fighters on a card in order to eliminate all performance enhancing drugs from mixed martial arts.

Overeem was speaking from London about 24 hours after being granted a conditional license by the Nevada Athletic Commission in order to meet Lesnar. Overeem failed to fully comply with the commission’s request to supply a urine sample for testing prior to leaving the U.S. to return to the Netherlands to be with his ailing mother.

After a heated commission meeting, Alistair Overeem once again denied using steroids.
(Getty Images)

At Monday’s hearing, the commission pointed the finger at Overeem’s assistant, Collin Lam, for the failure to complete the required testing and seemed to absolve Overeem himself of blame.

Overeem was ordered Monday to provide a urine sample with 72 hours and then to submit to testing twice in the next six months. Overeem left his training camp Tuesday for a one-hour flight to London to fulfill the first part of the requirement. The UFC had arranged to fly a British doctor who had the qualifications to satisfy the Nevada commission to meet Overeem in the Netherlands so that it wouldn’t further interrupt his training, but the doctor’s passport had expired and she was unable to travel. Thus, Overeem flew to London on Tuesday “because I want to meet all requirements I have to meet and handle my business the way I need to handle it.”

He plans to submit the sample on Wednesday and then return to Holland to finish training camp. He said he has no problem being tested, but that he hopes the current spate of testing will end the speculation about steroid usage that has followed him since his huge increase in size and muscle mass.

“I’ll be tested four times in three weeks this month, so after this, there cannot be any more doubts,” Overeem said. “The thing is, I’ve fought in the States before and every time I got tested, I’ve never tested positive. So I don’t where all [the speculation about steroid use] is coming from. I’m too focused on my career, and I don’t really pay attention to these messages.”

Overeem, who said he had done “everything within my power to get the testing done,” said he doesn’t pay attention to the accusations because he said he knows the truth.

He fought once in Nevada before, at PRIDE 33 in Las Vegas on Feb. 24, 2007, and had no problems with testing, though he was a light heavyweight at the time.

But he said he’s confident that he’ll have no issue passing the steroid test. He declined to say if there is a steroid problem in the sport, but hinted that there may be.

“I cannot judge other fighters, though of course sometimes you have your suspicions,” Overeem said. “Do I think testing should be [done] more [frequently]? Yes, I do think it should be done more, but I think it should be applied to all athletes and not just a randomly select few.”

Asked then if that meant he’d support random pre-fight PED testing for all fighters on a card, Overeem said, “That would be the fair thing to do, right? Otherwise, you would have select testing, and that is unfair.”

Overeem said having to break camp was a minor issue, but he didn’t think it would seriously harm his preparations.

“It’s not all that bad,” he said. “It’s a bit of a distraction, but fighting at this level, things hardly ever go perfectly for an entire camp. I’m not bothered by it and I can deal with it. I’ve been through many camps, and I’m used to dealing with different kinds of distractions.”

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Kevin Iole covers boxing and mixed martial arts for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter. Send Kevin a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011