USADA issues 6 month sanction for Calvillo

March 8, 2018

Cynthia Calvillo has accepted a six-month suspension from USADA for testing over the limit for marijuana in an in-competition test from UFC 219.  Her suspension may be reduced if the strawweight completes a USADA-approved drug awareness and management program.

The 30-year-old lost a close decision to Carla Esparza on December 30th.  Her in-competition drug test was flagged for marijuana or hashish metabolites.


Calvillo, 30, tested positive for Carboxy-THC, the pharmacologically-active metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish, above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL, stemming from an in-competition sample collected on December 30, 2017, at UFC 219 in Las Vegas, Nev. Marijuana and hashish are in the class of Cannabinoids and prohibited in-competition under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Cannabinoids are listed as Specified Substances on the WADA Prohibited List. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the standard sanction for an anti-doping policy violation involving a Specified Substance is a one-year period of ineligibility, which may be reduced depending on the athlete’s degree of fault.

Calvillo accepted a six-month period of ineligibility, which began on December 30, 2017, and may be reduced to a three-month period of ineligibility, pending the satisfactory completion of a USADA-approved drug awareness and management program. Calvillo’s positive test also falls under the jurisdiction of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which may impose additional sanctions, including fines or a period of ineligibility that is longer than the period set forth above.

Payout Perspective:

This is a good outcome for Calvillo as she should be off of suspension by April if she decides to take USADA-approved drug awareness and management courses.  The issue of the use of marijuana is becoming a controversial subject with many taking it to recover from pain.  The fact that there is a threshold limit that is deemed acceptable should tell you that there is some tolerance from regulators regarding its use.

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