Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal has probably had better weeks. Early Tuesday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission issued the fighter a nine-month suspension and a substantial fine. Later in the day, he found himself released from his Strikeforce contract.
Lawal’s NSAC hearing was based around the fact that his drug test for his January 7 fight against Lorenz Larkin came back positive for the steroid drostanolone. Lawal, a former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, was victorious in that bout, earning a knockout at the 1:32 mark of Round 2.
When the positive test results were announced, Lawal and his manager, Mike Kogan, were quick to name the culprit, an over-the-counter supplement that Lawal had taken, S-Mass Lean Gainer.
Speaking on the MMA Hour, Kogan said:
To the best of my research, this product was taken off the shelves some time in mid-2011, for exactly the same reason that we're facing right now. Its primary and only relevant ingredient of that particular product is a substance known as Methyldrostanolone, which is basically just a pill format of Drostanolone
Kogan and Lawal did not contest the findings, instead they hoped for leniency during the hearing, as Kogan said on the MMAHour:
We had no intent of taking any illegal substance and we believe we have enough evidence and enough character references to make that point very clear.
That hope for leniency did not seem to come to fruition. When the hearing was held, Lawal was suspended for nine months and forced to give up 30 percent of his purse from the Larkin fight and his entire $15,000 bonus while the fight result was changed to no-contest.
When handing down punishment, the NSAC seemed to hone in on the fact that Lawal had signed his pre-fight medical questionnaire without mentioning an injury or the over-the-counter supplement (S-Mass Lean Gainer) he used to rehab from that injury. During the course of questioning Lawal on the pre-fight form, Commissioner Pat Lundvall asked Lawal if he understood English and if he could read English.
Those two questions did not sit well with Lawal, a Tennessee-born graduate of Oklahoma State University. Following the hearing, Lawal took to Twitter and posted:
I honestly feel like Lundvall was a racist [expletive] asking me if I can read or speak English. Go on somewhere with that [expletive]
Not long after that post, Lawal was released from his Strikeforce contract. According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, via MMAFighting:
Following the outcome of today's hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and his subsequent reaction, STRIKEFORCE has released Muhammad Lawal from his contract.
Later in the week, Lawal, speaking to CSNBayArea, issued an apology to Lundvall for calling her “the b-word,” but said he remained offended by her line of questioning.
I was out of line for calling the woman the b-word and I was wrong for that. I was kind of mad about the comments, I was offended by the comments made towards me and I was out of line. I was too emotional. I apologize for that. With that being said, I still feel that I was offended, but I'm in the wrong for what I said.