'Cyborg' to appeal steroid suspension
Former Strikeforce women's featherweight champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos will appear in front of the California State Athletic Commission next week to appeal her suspension for a positive steroids test.
Cyborg, who is listed on the official CSAC docket for the April 9 meeting as "Cris Justino" and not Santos following the breakup of her marriage with Evangelista Santos, tested positive following her 16-second victory over Hiroko Yamanaka at Strikeforce's San Diego event on Dec. 17. That win was overturned to a no-contest and Cyborg subsequently was stripped of her title by Strikeforce.
Cyborg claimed in a video interview with MMAPrime.tv she did not knowingly take a steroid and that the person responsible for it being in her system has been removed from her camp.
"I do not condone the use of steroids as an athlete and think it is a horrible thing," Cyborg said. "I made a mistake in trusting someone in my camp and it has cost me my belt and made me look like a cheater. I am not a cheater. I have passed every drug test and never used steroids knowingly. I passed the drug test the night I beat Gina Carano to become the Strikeforce champion. People talk (and) say the only way I have gotten to where I am now is the use of drugs. They say I am a cheater. That is not true. Everything I take and put in my body is my responsibility. I take responsibility for the results and have publicly apologized to Hiroko, Strikeforce, the CSAC and my fans."
Cyborg was suspended for one year by the CSAC and fined $2,500. The fight against Yamanaka was her first in nearly 18 months.
"I have eliminated certain people from my training camp," Cyborg said. "I am taking monthly drug tests at the same laboratory that the CSAC uses to show I do not take steroids. And I am publicly acknowledging my responsibility and want to educate other fighters and the general public on the dangers of steroid use. I believe that everything I did in MMA can be deleted by one mistake. I believe I made a mistake and now is the time to press through the problem and work to make sure it never happens again. ... I'm still training. I'm never going to stop. Everything I did for MMA is not going to stop here. I will be back."
Cyborg is not likely to have her suspension wiped out by the commission on Monday, but a reduction in length would be possible.