Chad Mendes reveals substance that cost him a 2-year suspension

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Chad Mendes didn’t ask for sympathy or plead for mercy after testing positive for a banned substance, no matter how much he insists he wasn’t trying to cheat.

The former three-time title contender was recently suspended for two years after testing positive for a substance called GHRP-6 in an out-of-competition sample collected by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency). By definition, GHRP-6 is a growth hormone peptide.

Mendes hasn’t said anything since the two-year ban was handed down by USADA a week ago, but he finally broke his silence in a new interview with The Drive in Sacramento, in which he talked about the drug responsible for the positive test.

"GHRP-6 is what it was. Before all this came out, I had no idea what the hell that stuff was," Mendes explained. "When my test results came back and they told me that’s what I tested positive for, I was like I don’t even know what that is. I started doing a bunch of research and one thing I want to clear up to the people calling me ‘roid head’ and ‘juice head’ and stuff like that — this isn’t even a steroid. It’s a peptide."

According to Mendes, the substance containing GHRP-6 was a cream that he used to treat plaque psoriasis, which is a skin condition he’s been dealing with for years.

A lot of people use it for skin treatments. It's basically an anti-aging peptide. Basically what I was using it for, I've suffered from plaque psoriasis my entire life.

Chad Mendes

"I have it all over my shins, my entire scalp is covered in it, it’s all over my ears, I get a big patch of it on my side. I’ve had that since I can even remember," Mendes said.

Mendes said he’s used just about every treatment under the sun to control the psoriasis on his body, but nothing has really helped in the past.

The cream he used containing GHRP-6 was just the latest in a long line of options Mendes has tried while keeping the skin condition at bay.

"I’ve tried going seeing specialists and there’s a couple options I can do with them and it’s like take a pill, which is god awful for your liver and just tears your stomach up. There’s ointments and creams that they’ve given me but those destroy my immune system," Mendes said. "I’m training like two or three times a day during a training camp. If I’m putting this stuff on at night before bed or something, I can’t be getting sick throughout my training camp. I can’t be getting sick right before a fight. It’s just not an option so I can’t use those.

"They’ve talked about giving me a shot and I’ve done research on that and that’s also super bad on your liver."

Once Mendes found out the cause behind his positive test, he knew there was no way to fight the oncoming sanctions from USADA as a result.

Of course he was disappointed to concede to a two year suspension for using skin cream to help his psoriasis, but Mendes knows it was still his fault for doing it without checking the ingredients first.

"This was one of the cases that it had something in it that was on the USADA ‘banned list’. My situation was just kind of bad luck I feel. Ultimately, I broke the rules. Did I use it? Of course. I didn’t try to go to USADA and try to make up some BS story, trying to lie my way out of it," Mendes said.

"I broke the rules. Whether it’s intentional or not, it’s still breaking the rules. I told them I don’t expect any special treatment."

Mendes already had planned on sitting out for all of 2016 to rest and recover after back-to-back losses to Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar last year, while also launching a new celebrity hunting business at home in California.

Now he’ll be forced to sit out for two full years while waiting for his suspension to be lifted and while the time off stings, Mendes knows crying about it won’t do him any good either.

"Two years is a long time, especially in this sport, especially for a first-time offender, especially over something that is not a steroid," Mendes said. "It’s a tough situation. There are rules, they are in place, I think USADA’s doing a great job with that and I can’t be the one to break the rule and then be like ‘I want special treatment.’ It’s just tough."