Chad Mendes has stared speaking about his USADA anti-doping violation and resulting two-year suspension, saying that the culprit was a psoriasis skin cream.
Mendes has had plaque psoriasis since he was a child, a skin condition that causes itchy, red patches to form on the skin. Although he has taken various products for the symptoms over the years, he says it was his most recent cream that contained the GHRP-6 that he tested positive for during an out-of-competition drug test on May 17.
GHRP-6 is a type of growth hormone peptide, not a steroid. On its own, it boosts levels of growth hormones and aids in fat loss and muscle gain as well as reduces inflammation to the skin and enhances injury healing. These last two features may be why it is an ingredient in a psoriasis cream. GHRP-6 on its own does not cause enough of an effect to create a performance boost. However, the substance is still banned because its effectiveness is amplified to performance-enhancing levels when mixed with insulin.
Although Mendes was planning on taking some time off following his first-round loss to Frankie Edgar in December, the two-year ban was a bit longer than he intended. While he waits for the suspension to lift in May of 2018, Mendes says that he plans to focus on his celebrity hunting business called “Finz and Featherz” but intends to return to competitive fighting once the ban gets lifted.
Chad Mendes takes full responsibility for his suspension and has accepted USADA’s ruling. He does admit, however, that a two-year suspension for a first-time offense—especially over psoriasis cream—is still tough to swallow. He understands the importance of the rules and does not intend to ask for special treatment. The experience has still been highly embarrassing and he hopes to be able to put it behind him as soon as possible.
Raimondi, M., “Chad Mendes says failed USADA drug test was due to psoriasis cream,” MMA Fighting web site, July 28, 2016; http://www.mmafighting.com/2016/7/28/12316786/chad-mendes-says-failed-usada-drug-test-was-due-to-psoriasis-cream, last accessed July 29, 2016.