The New York State Athletic Commission has suspended pro boxer Ryan Garcia for one year after the controversial welterweight fighter tested positive for performance-enhancing substances ahead of his championship bout with Devin Haney in April. Garcia’s suspension, agreed to in a settlement with the commission on Thursday, will also overturn his victory against Haney, causing him to forfeit the $1 million purse from the fight.

Ryan Garcia has been suspended from boxing for one year after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances ahead of his bout with Devin Haney in April.
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

During the April 20th bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Garcia was declared the winner by majority decision but was not awarded his opponent’s championship title as he was over the weight limit for the welterweight class. Haney retained the title, but Garcia achieved the career-best win, having knocked out the number six pound-for-pound boxer.

However, as Valuetainment previously reported, Garcia’s urine samples collected the day before and the day after the fight both tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance Ostarine, a selective androgen receptor modulator that can stimulate muscle growth. The compound is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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Garcia maintained his innocence, claiming that the substance ended up in his system from tainted Ashwagandha Root supplements. At the time, he was able to submit an appeal to have a secondary sample tested to verify the results of the initial screening.

However, despite his protests, Garcia has now agreed to the settlement. His victory over Haney will be overturned to a no-contest, restoring the rival boxer’s undefeated record. Garcia’s million-dollar purse will be returned to his promoter, Golden Boy, and Haney may be entitled to a percentage as compensation. The punishment also comes with a $10,000 fine.

“His New York State professional boxer license will be suspended until April 20, 2025, and until such time as he provides a clean urinalysis to the Commission,” NYSAC said in a statement. “The Commission will continue to hold athletes to the highest professional standards and protect the integrity of all sports under our jurisdiction.”

According to a statement from Garcia’s publicist, Sarah Fink:

Ryan Garcia was a victim of substance contamination, with levels measured in the billions and trillions of a gram, which provided no advantage whatsoever in the ring. Ryan, with his legal team, has resolved this issue and firmly maintains his truth: he never intentionally took any banned substance. It’s simply not in his nature.

For many years, Ryan has voluntarily submitted to random testing, even during out-of-competition periods, and has never had any issues. He has maintained an impeccable and clean record throughout his career, significantly elevating and transcending the sport of boxing, earning respect and admiration from millions of fans worldwide. The fans will always remember his performance against Haney as a masterclass, and that will never be erased.

Related: Ryan Garcia Makes Wild Claims About the Bohemian Grove

On Wednesday, the day before news of the suspension went public, Garcia (who is known for his unpredictable behavior and erratic social media posts) declared that he is “officially retired.”

On Thursday, he followed this up by saying that he’ll “come back ina [sic] year.”

“I want to thank the commission and the fans who stood by me during this whole process,” Haney, who is once again undefeated, told ESPN. “The facts are the facts and I wasn’t on an even playing field. Happy I was able to receive justice for what happened. It’s all part of my story and it’s only going to make me better. I look to enjoy this time with my family and friends and see what’s next.”

“I’m a clean athlete and boxing is a brutal sport where one fight can literally change your life. I think it’s important for fighters to be clean and I want to become an advocate for clean athletes for my experience in this situation.”

Haney indicated that he too is taking a year off from boxing and hinted that he might be open to a rematch after Garcia’s suspension is over.

In the meantime, Garcia seems to have turned his sights to another combat sport, calling on UFC President Dana White to offer him a place in Mixed Martial Arts.

Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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