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Legal Team Of Ryan Garcia Claims Innocence Through Hair Tests

Legal Team Of Ryan Garcia Claims Innocence Through Hair Tests featured image
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 19: Ryan Garcia during a weigh-in at Barclays Center on April 19, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy/Getty Images)

The legal team hired by Ryan Garcia is attempting to discredit the results of the positive B-samples by claiming hair tests they conducted came up with negative results regarding Ostarine and any other banned substance. While their claims aim to disprove the notion of Garcia intentionally using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), hair tests are primarily used to detect the use of anabolic steroids, while Ostarine is regarded as a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) which is a different sort of PED.

According to a letter that Ryan Garcia’s (25-1, 20 KO’s) legal team publicly released, the American fighter’s hair was tested shortly after the results of the B-samples confirmed the initial A samples―collected on April 19th and 20th―contained the banned substance of Ostarine. The hair tests reportedly came in with negative results, not indicating the use of any PED.

Ryan Garcia is committed to clean and fair competition and has never intentionally used any banned substance,” The letter reads. “Soon after being notified of his positive test, Ryan voluntarily had his hair collected and shipped to Dr. Pascal Kintz, the foremost expert in toxicology and hair-sample analysis.

The results of Ryan’s hair sample came back negative. This is consistent with contamination and demonstrably proves that Ryan had not ingested Ostarine over a period of time — the only way he would have had any advantage whatsoever in the ring.

Ryan has voluntarily submitted to tests throughout his career, which have always shown negative results. He also tested negative multiple times leading up to the fight against Haney.

All of these factors, combined with his ultra-low levels from samples taken on April 19th and 20th (in the billionth of a gram range), point to Ryan being a victim of supplement contamination and never receiving any performance enhancing benefit from the microscopic amounts in his system.

We are certain that one of the natural supplements Ryan was using in the lead up to the fight will prove to be contaminated and are in the process of testing the supplements to determine the exact source.

Not mentioned within the letter are several discrepancies that not only indicate the legal team’s response is premature―given there is time for Garcia’s lawyers to present all their findings in a potential hearing with the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC), but also shows a lack of understanding of the difference between SARMS and steroids.

Ostarine is classified by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as a SARM and therefore regarded as a banned substance by the organization and other anti-doping organizations, sanctioning bodies and governing bodies.

While hair tests are allowed to be conducted for samples containing a SARM such as Ostarine, the use of those methods are not considered the most effective method to detect these type of substances. Due to the different chemical properties within SARMS, as opposed to anabolic steroids, hair tests do not yet have well-developed methods to detect SARM, hence the more standard use of urine or blood samples to determine the presence of SARMs.

Aside from studies indicating SARMS are harder to detect through hair tests, the legal team asserted that Ostarine had to be taken over time to be effective, therefore the negative hair test results proved that Ryan Garcia had not intentionally ingested the banned substance or gained any significant competitive advantage. Presumably, these hair tests were taken following the revelation of the A-samples, which came to light within a week after the Haney-Garcia April 20th fight.

However, the exact purpose of the B-samples being tested―which Garcia himself had requested to be tested ―was to confirm whether the original samples actually contained Ostarine. Since hair testing for SARMs are not considered as effective as testing urine samples, any results from hair tests do not negate the results of the A- and B-samples.

Garcia’s legal team further stooped to misinterpreting the facts surrounding the urine samples, arguing that the [urine] samples taken from April 19th and April 20th were “ultra-low” when it came to the levels of Ostarine detected; maintaining that the samples depicted a “billionth of a gram”.

This has already been debunked, as documents from the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) confirmed the first urine sample collected on April 19th showed Ostarine was 60 times over the limit; specifically 6 ng/mil as opposed to the 0.1 ng/mil limit set by VADA. While nanograms certainly do not come in the same amount as grams or even milligrams, VADA’s limit of 0.1 ng/mil nonetheless sets a threshold for how much is allowed―with levels above 0.1 ng/mil considered abnormal. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that levels of Ostarine above 0.1 ng/mil would give the user some sort of advantage.

The legal team also maintained it was natural supplements that led to the presence of Ostarine within his body. The issue here is that “natural supplements”, as the legal team referred to, are often derived from organic plants or herbs. As Ostarine is not naturally or organically produced, it is unlikely Ryan Garcia would accidentally ingest Ostarine through such supplements.

However, Ryan Garcia certainly has the window to prove those supplements were contaminated in the upcoming weeks, and with the NYSAC having yet to schedule a hearing; there is ample time for Garcia to prove his innocence―which is required for him to avoid a suspension, or potentially even a ban.