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UFC welterweight Kevin Lee and the Nevada Athletic Commission have reached an agreement.
During the NAC’s monthly conference call meeting held Wednesday, Lee (18-7 MMA, 11-7 UFC) was handed a six-month suspension and a $19,526 fine as sanctions for a positive drug test for amphetamine stemming from his Aug. 28 loss to Daniel Rodriguez in Las Vegas. Lee will be eligible to return to competition Feb. 28, 2022.
Per NAC rules, a violation of this type would carry a 9-24 month suspension. However, due to the circumstances of Lee’s case and his cooperation in the matter, a lesser suspension was recommended and a settlement agreement reached.
Following his initial hearing last month, Lee revealed in a since-deleted Instagram post that he’d been managing adult ADHD through medication, which he pointed to for the positive test. He also apologized for not disclosing his usage to the NAC.
“I have tested over the limit allowed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in my most recent fight,” Lee wrote. “In 2018 I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD, it has always affected me. I did not discover real treatment for the diagnosis until 2020 when I was recovering from my double knee surgeries. I was prescribed Adderall from a doctor to improve my mental health. I told representatives from USADA but did not apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption from the NSAC before my last fight. For that, I truly apologize to the UFC, the commission, my opponent, Dana White, the matchmakers, Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard, and the fans.
“It was never my intention to gain an athletic advantage. It was an attempt to conquer the severe anxiety I silently suffer from daily. I am actively cooperating with the Nevada Athletic Commission and expect to reach an agreement on a sanction. I will use this time to heal and come back stronger. Sorry for my lack of professionalism that lead to this disappointment, I’ll be back.”
Lee, 29, followed up his initial statement with another post on Instagram the same day. “I’ve been embarrassed these last few weeks since knowing this news would come out,” Lee wrote. ” I always knew my brain worked different than other people and I’ve tried to hide my whole life.”
He continued to open up about his struggles with sobriety outside of fight camps. The statement was accompanied by a video of him washing prescription pills down the sink, which served as a self-accountability marker. “I need to be sober and connected with God,” Lee stated.
Lee has lost four of his most recent five outings as he bounced between lightweight and welterweight. It is unclear at which weight class he will make his return, but he’ll have to be cleared by the NAC before he does.