Women's mixed martial arts may suffered a serious blow on Friday when the California State Athletic Commission announced Strikeforce 145-pound champ Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos tested positive for an anabolic steroid.
Dana White, appearing on ESPN1100/98.9 FM, painted a bleak picture for female fighting at the highest level.
"It pretty much does [kill the Strikeforce women's featherweight division]. We were going to hold [on to] that division and just do fights with Cyborg," White said. "Whenever there was a new contender, we would do the fights with Cyborg."
White said there is no champion now at 145 pounds.
"Yeah, she's getting stripped of the title. I don't know, we'll see what happens [with the rest of the division]," said White.
Strikeforce officials were a little more non-committal.
"Strikeforce has not seen the test results regarding Ms. Santos," Coker stated in today's release. "However, we have a consistent and strong stance against any use of performance-enhancing drugs. We also have a long history of supporting effective drug testing of athletes by authorized regulatory bodies.
"Therefore, we will closely monitor the matter and will work with the California State Athletic Commission regarding any information we may be asked to provide. We also recognize that Ms. Santos has administrative process rights under California law, and we hope that she is not prejudged before she has the opportunity to exercise such rights."
Following her fight on Dec. 17 against Hiroko Yamanaka, Santos tested positive for stanozolol metabolites.
"Our primary concern is for the health and safety of fighters," CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd stated. "Anabolic agents and other banned substances put not only the users of those agents at risk, but their opponents as well. The commission simply will not tolerate their use."
Cyborg was fined $2,500 and suspended for a year by the CSAC.