Petchtanong Petchfergus is the latest fighter to fall foul of ONE Championship’s drug testing. The reigning bantamweight kickboxing champion failed an out of competition test.
The announcement was made by Prem Busarabavonwongs, the managing director of ONE Championship Thailand, at a press conference earlier today. He informed fans that Petchtanong had tested positive for not one but two banned substances:
Petchtanong tested positive for both metenolone and noldenone. Both are anabolic steroids and on the list of substances banned by International Doping Tests & Management, the company in charge of ONE Championship’s drug testing program.
The 37 year old has only fought twice for the promotion. He lost to Captain Petchyindee in 2010, getting knocked out in just six seconds at Impact Arena.
But two years later Petchtanong was handed a title shot. He beat Hiroki Akimoto at ONE 163 to become the promotion’s bantamweight kickboxing champion.
Petchtanong has now been stripped of that belt and banned from competing for ONE Championship for an entire year.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) July 6, 2023
Petchtanong is the first champion to fall foul of the drug testing regime which was implemented last year. But he is not the first big name to have their career and reputation tainted by a ban.
Earlier this year Kairat Akhmetov was banned for six months after failing an out of competition test. He had been promised a shot at reigning flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson just weeks earlier.
Meanwhile Julie Mezabarba was handed an 18 month ban after testing positive for multiple banned substances. The Brazilian appears to have been released by ONE Championship as a result.
It appears that Petchtanong will remain on the roster. But he will be 38 by the time his ban expires so there is a question mark as to whether he will be capable of mounting a successful comeback at that stage of his career.
There is no drug testing on the stadium scene in Thailand. But Petchtanong appears to be the first That fighter to have fallen foul of the drug testing rules at ONE Championship.