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Ready to rumble: Daton Fix returns from suspension

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Oklahoma State's Daton Fix celebrates after defeating Iowa's Austin DeSanto during the Oklahoma State vs Iowa wrestling dual in Gallgher-Iba Arena in Stillwater on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. 

John Smith and Dustin Plott talk to the media.

Daton Fix feared the worst.

One year ago, the United States Anti-Doping Agency suspended Fix from competition after he tested positive for ostarine, a prohibited substance.

A positive PED test could have warranted a four-year suspension and ended Fix’s young career.

He explained to the USADA investigation team that he was unaware of ingesting the substance. He even voluntarily underwent a polygraph test.

Coach John Smith supported him throughout the entire process. He knew Fix would never take a banned substance. But even Smith was nervous about the ruling.

“It’s a scary thing when you’re looking at losing four years and that was the maximum,” Smith said. “He’s a good young man who loves wrestling. He earns everything that he accomplishes.”

When the USADA completed their investigation, it agreed he didn’t intend to enhance his performance. The ostarine level in his system ended up being “so minute that it was like a grain of salt in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.”

Still, it suspended him for a year through Feb. 10, 2021.

It suspended him from competition, but it couldn’t suspend him from workouts and practice. Smith said Fix never skipped an opportunity to sharpen his mind and body, and his teammates took notice.

“He’s still definitely the leader and works very hard in the room,” true freshman Dustin Plott said. “If you saw him, you wouldn’t think he wasn’t able to compete because he trains at such a high level all the time. It’ll definitely be cool to see him back on the mat.”

Time’s up.

Fix is eligible to wrestle again with two weeks left in the regular season, but there is one big challenge left.

He needs to compete in four matches to qualify for the national tournament. If he doesn’t, he must win the Big 12 in order to go to the NCAA championships.

Bedlam will guarantee him one of those pivotal four, so he needs to wrestle another three.

Luckily, Oklahoma State is hosting the Cowboy Challenge Tournament this weekend. Barring unfavorable weather, Missouri, West Virginia and Wyoming wrestlers will come to Stillwater for one purpose — to wrestle Fix.

“This tournament was set up for Daton Fix,” Smith said. “It may be hard to get matches because the 133 bracket appears to be the smallest, but we will get him four matches.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com