Khalil Rountree Jr. out of Jamahal Hill fight at UFC 303 due to doping violation

Khalil Rountree Jr. won’t get the chance to compete in the biggest fight of his career.

On Saturday, the light heavyweight contender announced that he is no longer facing former champion Jamahal Hill at UFC 303 on June 29 after revealing he used a substance banned under the UFC’s anti-doping program. Rountree detailed the circumstances in a lengthy Instagram post, confirming that he won’t be able to fight on the Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler card, where he could have potentially earned a title shot with a win.

“I’m gutted to deliver this news to you all but I will not be fighting at UFC 303 due to consuming a banned substance,” Rountree wrote. “I did not do this intentionally and I am doing everything I can to get this situation taken care of. I was using a personalized, tailored supplement service from a company that I trusted who understood my limitations in what I can and cannot take.

“They accidentally sent a blended supplement to me that contained [a] banned substance called DHEA (which is prohibited at all times under the UFC anti-doping policy). Only after I consumed it was its ingredients brought to my attention.”

DHEA, known as Dehydroepiandrosterone, is a steroid hormone primarily produced by the adrenal gland, but in addition to the body’s natural production, there’s also a synthetic version that can be used as a performance-enhancing drug.

Under the World Anti-Doping Agency banned substances list, DHEA is banned at all times for athletes both in and out of competition.

Rountree said as soon as he discovered what was in his supplement, he informed UFC about what happened, and now he’s under a temporary suspension.

“I immediately contacted senior vice president of anti-doping compliance Jeff Novitzky and UFC vice president of anti-doping compliance Donna Marcolini upon receiving that information to inform them of this matter,” Rountree wrote. “I’ve provided them with all of the information to show that this was not a matter of cheating or to enhance performance. Although DHEA is non-performance enhancing, it is a banned substance therefore I am under temporary suspension.

“My sincerest apologies to you all and to Jamahal for this unfortunate series of events. This is a huge loss and an even bigger lesson.”

As of January, UFC’s anti-doping program is effectively operated in-house under Combat Sports Anti-Doping, with former FBI agent George Piro now running the program along with Drug Free Sport collecting the samples for the athletes.

There’s no word yet on what kind of punishment Rountree could face for the infraction, but he won’t be allowed to compete as early as June 29. UFC has yet to make an official announcement regarding Rountree being pulled from the event or whether Hill will remain on the card against a new opponent.

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