Alistair Overeem has broken his silence for the first time since the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced earlier this month that he failed a pre-UFC 146 drug test.

Overeem, who was scheduled to meet Junior dos Santos for the UFC heavyweight title next month until the promotion replaced him with Frank Mir, issued a written statement explaining why his testosterone to epitestosterone ratio came back at an above-limit 14:1. The NSAC’s T/E ratio limit is 6:1.

In the statement, Overeem announced that he withdrew from UFC 146 and explained why his T/E ratio was so high. According to Overeem’s camp, he did so on Friday and that’s when the UFC decided to replace him with Mir. His manager Glenn Robinson told MMAFighting.com that Overeem didn’t “formally withdraw his license application, he withdrew from the fight and asked for a continuance to hear the case so he can prove he is a clean fighter.”

You can read the full statement below.

To my friends and fans,

I am deeply saddened to announce that on Friday, April 20, I respectfully withdrew from the May 26 event so that I can request a continuance until my situation with the Nevada State Athletic Commission is resolved.

I cannot express how sorry I am to the Commission, Junior Dos Santos, the fans, the owners and employees of the UFC, my friends and family and anyone else who this has affected.

I absolutely do not believe in, nor do I use performance-enhancing drugs. I am a clean fighter and I will do whatever it takes to prove this to everyone.

Prior to the UFC 146 press conference in March, I aggravated an old rib injury on my left side. My doctor prescribed, and I accepted, an anti-inflammatory medication that was mixed with testosterone. I was completely unaware that testosterone was one of the ingredients in the medication. Although I was unaware, I do realize it is my job to know what I am putting into my body.

I respect the Nevada Commissioners and Executive Director Keith Kizer and what they are doing to keep
the sport of mixed martial arts regulated and safe for athletes. I look forward to working with them in the days and weeks ahead.

Friends and fans, I ask for your patience as I work through this matter. Please support me. I promise to return to the Octagon soon.

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