Chad Mendes has confirmed that his failed USADA test was as a result of using psoriasis cream.
Mendes, who spoke on "The Drive" radio show this week, says he was using the cream to treat a lifelong skin condition called plaque psoriasis.
"I've always just accepted it and put it on, not thinking about anything," Mendes said. "This is one of the cases that it had something in it that was on the USADA quote-unquote 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 going to USADA and making some BS story and tried to lie my way out of it."
Mendes was originally flagged for the substance GHRP-6, a growth-hormone peptide, in an out-of-competition drug test May 17 and was subsequently suspended for two years because of it.
"One thing I want to clear up to a lot of people calling me ‘roid head or juice head. This isn't even a steroid," Mendes said. "It's a peptide."
According to MMAFighting.com GHRP-6 is not necessarily performance-enhancing itself, but can stimulate growth hormone production when combined with insulin.
"It's embarrassing, to be honest," he said. "This is another reason why I haven't talked about it. This is super embarrassing to me. I've always been the type of guy that's worked my butt off and trained hard and done things the right way. And for this to come out and now be labeled a quote-unquote juice head, it's embarrassing man."
Mendes is coming off two major losses. First to Conor McGregor at UFC 189 which, had he won, would have given him the featherweight interim title. His most recent loss came at the hands of Frankie Edgar in December.
Mendes will not be eligible to fight again until June 10, 2018.
(Photo by Amy Kaplan)