USADA cancels the rest of Amanda Ribas’ suspension for ostarine

May 3, 2019

In an interesting turn of events, USADA has granted a reduction of sanction of Amanda Ribas’ period of ineligibility due to a finding of ostarine in a drug test. She is now allowed to return to fight for the promotion.

Ribas tested positive for ostarine on June 7, 2017.  The Brazilian had been serving a two-year sanction.  But Friday’s news eliminates a further sanction for the women’s strawweight.

“USADA believes it is fair to allow Ribas to return to competition after serving the majority of her two-year sanction,” it announced in a standard release.

A key passage in USADA’s release states:

The termination of Ribas’ sanction reflects USADA’s recognition of the demonstrated prevalence of ostarine in a wide range of supplement products used by athletes (see USADA High Risk List for more than 70 products) and that ostarine has frequently been found as a product contaminant. The trace amounts of ostarine found in Ribas’ sample was made possible by sensitive laboratory detection capabilities and has been followed by four negative tests. As Ribas was unable to identify the source of her positive test, and taking into consideration the likelihood that her positive test was the result of an ostarine contaminated dietary supplement product, USADA believes it is fair to allow Ribas to return to competition after serving the majority of her two-year sanction.

Ribas’ reduction in sanction comes right after USADA reduced suspensions for tainted supplements of four fighters.

Payout Perspective:

This is a pretty big deal as USADA has never revisited a previous violation.  Also, this brings up the issue with prior fighter sanctions and whether reparations should be in order for those that have served suspensions without USADA revisiting their case.  The overarching standard is that the athlete is responsible for what they ingest.  Even if the athlete ingests a contaminated supplement, they are subject to the mandatory two-year suspension.  Recently, it appears that USADA is softening its stance on the hardline mandatory two-years with some, like Walt Harris receiving just 4 months.  Even Harris has threatened legal action due to the sanction as his test was due to a contaminated supplement.

It appears that UFC Anti-Doping Program is transitioning into assessing the issue with contaminated supplements.  While this may be an added improvement, the refrain from fighters scarred by the previous program will be a public relations issue.

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