Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos was found to have the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide during a random drug test in August and now faces the potential for a lengthy suspension, but in a new interview the Brazilian star passionately denies having knowingly taken the performance enhancing drug.

“Until I got home, I thought it was a prank, I couldn’t believe it,” dos Santos told the Combate website in Brazil. “I talked to my wife and she told me USADA had notified me. I said ‘For the love of God, it can’t be possible. What could I test positive for?’ I called up the UFC people the following day and they told me it was a diuretic. It was such a small amount of it, it couldn’t even act as a diuretic in my system. It even took me a while to urinate on the day I had to take the test, so it wasn’t acting as a diuretic that day.

“But they found it and the rule is the same for everyone. Not matter how little of it they found. This certainly shows that there was a contamination. They had nothing else to do but to notify me and pull me out of the fight.”

The 33-year-old says he’s now desperately trying to get to the bottom of how the diuretic may have got into his system in an attempt to prove his innocence, but it’s not an easy process.

“Everything is under investigation, now, but that’s another problem, because I have no idea where this came from and it’s up to me to prove my innocence and that’s kind of weird. At first I used to think ‘Why is USADA there? For cheaters or for the ones who play by the rules end up as victims?’ I’m obviously a victim of a situation that I don’t what it is.

“I’m getting major support from USADA and from the UFC in my search for answers. This not knowing is absurd, it eats you up inside, it’s like tearing your soul apart. I’ve always been very vocal about all this, but now the only thing I ask myself is if USADA is there for cheaters or for innocent people who end up in this situation.”

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