Arbtitration yields 2 year suspension for UFC’s Felipe Olivieri

January 25, 2017

In its second arbitration since the institution of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy,UFC Fighter Felipe Olivieri was handed a two year suspension after he was provisionally suspended for an Anti-Doping Policy Violation on March 10, 2016.

The decision can be found here.

The suspension is due to a failed out of competition test on January 11, 2016 while he was training Brazil.  Notably, Olivieri’s brother died 5 days prior to the test occurring.  Also of note, the test results were not discovered until after his January 30, 2016 fight against Tony Martin in which he lost by 3rd Round TKO.  He took an in-competition test that night and those results were negative.

On March 4, 2016, the results of the A sample from the January 11th test came up positive for the presence of methyltestosterone metabolites, 5alpha-tetrahydromethyltestosterne and 5betatetrahydromethyltestosterne.  On March 29, 2016, the B sample came back positive for 5alpha-tetrahydromethyltestosterne and 5betatetrahydromethyltestosterne.

Among his defenses, Olivieri challenged the accreditation of the lab that analyzed the tests as on June 24, 2016, WADA issued a press release announcing that it had suspended the accreditation of the Rio Laboratory “due to a non-conformity with the International Standard for Laboratories. Olivieri’s legal counsel argued that the samples had been mishandled by the lab staff and the chain of custody had been compromised citing the WADA suspension.

Under objections from Olivieri’s attorney, a Utah lab confirmed the results from the Rio Lab.  Of course, Olivieri’s attorney claimed that the samples were already compromised and they could not render a conclusive result.

The arbitration panel stated that the fact that the suspension occurred in June 2016 and the results of the test happening on March 2016 does not negate the results.  The panel noted the Utah lab had confirmed the Rio Lab’s results.

In the end the arbitrators determined Olivieri had failed to provide an acceptable explanation of why there was a positive result for testosterone.  There were no mitigating circumstances and thus the “appropriate sanction” per the arbitrator was a 2 year suspension which will end on March 9, 2018.

Payout Perspective:

This is the second arbitration result that yielded a result favorable to USADA.  While Olivieri’s attorneys had procedural arguments to the reasons for his drug tests, they did not provide the ultimate answer for the arbitrator which was why Olivieri had the presence of testosterone androgens in his system.  Perhaps his attorney was seeking a possible reduction of a two year suspension for the 31 year old fighter.  Unfortunately for Olivieri, not only will he have to serve a suspension, he is out of pocket the legal fees necessary to challenge his Anti-Doping Policy Violation.

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