Bharat Khandare made headlines in 2017 when he became the first Indian mixed-martial-arts fighter to sign a contract in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The UFC is the number one organization in the world for MMA fighters and it was a great accomplishment for Khandare and the growing MMA fan base in India.
Bharat Khandare Fails USADA Drug Test
Khandare had just one fight in the UFC in November 2017 when he took on the 19 year old Chinese fighter Song Yadong. It was a short fight as the teenager forced Khandare to tap with a standing guillotine.
India MMA fans haven’t seen much of Bharat Khandare since then as many believed that he was working on his skills which needed a lot of improvement to take on the top fighters in the UFC. Khandare was booked to fight yet another Chinese fighter at UFC 227 which was scheduled for August 2018 but the fight did not take place.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) recently confirmed that Khandare tested positive for steroids and an estrogen blocker which is used to mask steroids.
In a statement, USADA said “Khandare, 31, tested positive for exogenous boldenone and its metabolites, as well as a metabolite of tamoxifen, following an out-of-competition test conducted on July 23, 2018. Boldenone is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and tamoxifen is a Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators. Both substances are prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
USADA Suspends Khandare For Two Years
Khandare has accepted a 2 year penalty which is retroactive from November 2, 2018. He will be eligible to fight only after November 2020 and by then he will be 33 years old. Give his start in the UFC which includes a loss, failing a USADA drug test and getting a 2 year suspension, it will be interesting to see if the UFC cuts him or gives him another chance.
Khandare failing a drug test is interesting given the fact that he was training at Jackson-Wink MMA in New Mexico. This is the gym that trains elite fighters such as Jon Jones, Holly Holm, Carlos Condit and Michelle Waterson.
Jackson-Wink MMA has received flak in recent times as some of their fighters have tested positive for steroids – most noticeably Jon Jones who is considered the Greatest of All Time (GOAT).
Khandare’s failed drug test is a blow to Indian MMA and his fan base.