Top Female Mixed Martial Artist Tests Positive for Winstrol

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Cristiane Justino Venancio Santos, commonly known as Chris “Cyborg” Santos, has tested positive for anabolic steroids. The positive steroid test result occurred during Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego on December 17, 2011. Santos defeated challenger Hiroko Yamanaka with a first round technical knockout after 16 seconds to retain the Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Championship.

The top-ranked pound-for-pound female mixed martial artist in the world tested positive for stanozolol metabolites. Stanozolol is commonly known by the brand name Winstrol. The anti-doping urinalysis was processed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) suspended Santos’ license to fight in California for one year as a result of the Winstrol infraction. Santos was stripped of her title and fined $2500.

In a sport marked by dramatic beatdowns and several concussions, the CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd maintained that the sport was all about the health and well-being of its athletes.

“Our primary concern is for the health and safety of fighters,” insisted Dodd. “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.”

The suspension of Santos could possibly end the Welterweight category at Strikeforce. Dana White, the President of Strikeforce’s parent company, has said that the weight class revolved around finding challengers for “Cyborg”. Without Santos, the future plans for the category are in doubt.

Santos maintained a considerably higher muscular bodyweight in the off-season. She diets down, reminiscient of a female bodybuilding contestant, to meet the weight class cutoff and displays a physique with impressive abs and muscular definition.

The Brazilian MMA fighter’s style has often been compared to Wanderlei Silva. The reason being that they both trained at the same Brazilian academy.

She married Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, an accomplished fighter and one time challenger for the Strikeforce welterweight title. The couple moved to San Diego where they work and teach at “The Arena”, one of the premier MMA academies in the United States.

Chris “Cyborg” Santos isn’t the only female MMA fighter to have tested positive for anabolic steroids. Carina Damm tested positive for nandrolone, commonly known as “Deca” or Deca Durabolin, and was suspended in May 2008.

Various male MMA athletes have tested positive for anabolic steroids in recent years. Notable steroid users in the MMA include Ken Shamrock, Josh Barnett, Sean Sherk, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Royce Gracie and Chris Leben. Some fighters, such as Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt, have tested positive for testosterone but claimed that it was due to medically-supervised testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

 Chris "Cyborg" Santos

Photo credit: Greg Ashman / MMAWeekly.com


Meltzer, D. (January 7, 2012). Cyborg suspended for steroids. Retrieved from http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/07012012/58/cyborg-suspended-steroids.html