UFC's Walt Harris banned 4 years after testing positive for various steroids on separate occasions

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - MAY 16: Walt Harris reacts after his TKO loss to Alistair Overeem in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 16, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Walt Harris won't be eligible for a UFC return until 2027. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images) (Cooper Neill via Getty Images)

Walt Harris is suspended four years from the UFC after he tested positive for various steroids on two separate occasions, Combat Sports Anti-Doping (CSAD) announced Wednesday.

The 40-year-old heavyweight from Alabama won't be eligible to compete again until 2027. Harris (13-10, 1 NC) has not competed since he lost to Marcin Tybura in June 2021. It was his third consecutive loss after a previous four fight winning streak.

Harris provided initial drug test samples on June 24 and July 12, 2023. Those samples were found to be positive for drostanolone and testosterone of exogenous origin, according to CSAD. Before his second sample could be tested, he was notified of an adverse result and was issued a provisional suspension set to begin July 11.

Aware that he'd already tested positive for multiple steroids, Harris gave additional urine and blood samples a month later. Surprisingly, a new prohibited substance called Anastrozole was then found in his urine. Drostanolone was still present. His blood sample also tested positive for what CSAD determined to be the presence of a "new administration" of exogenous testosterone since his last tests.

Drostanolone and exogenous testosterone are generally classified as anabolic steroids, while anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor. They're all banned by the UFC with no exceptions.

Harris’ four-year period of ineligibility will still be based on the previous start date of July 11, 2023. The Nevada Athletic Commission had already announced a one-year suspension and a fine, as Harris was slated to fight Josh Parisian at UFC Vegas 77 on July 15, 2023.

At the time, Harris took to social media to cite a USADA test, claiming that a long-used supplement was to blame.

"I believe this came from a supplement that I've trusted my entire career, but at the end of the day it was never USADA approved," he wrote in a statement. "I'm a complete idiot for not checking prior, but I'm definitely not a cheater."

The 2023 results weren't the first brush with banned substances for Harris. He was suspended in 2019 after he tested positive for LGD-4033. Harris threatened legal action in response, saying his priority was his reputation as a "clean fighter."

His latest suspension is coming to light after CSAD took over as the UFC's new anti-doping program in December 2023 following USADA's departure. Former FBI agent George Piro sits at the helm of the program, which collects samples through Drug Free Sport International, an independent company.