Lee fight removed from UFC 216

September 30, 2017

The UFC has pulled the late-announced fight of Andrea Lee-Kalindra Faria due to Lee not being in the USADA testing pool due to testing positive for diuretics in March 2016.

Due to the prior violation which she served a nine-month suspension, she would have had to undergo a minimum of six months of testing before she could fight in the UFC.

In a social media post, Lee explained that it was not the UFC’s fault “because they didn’t know about this USADA rule.”

Prior to changes to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, an exemption could be made for fighters to receive a waiver so that they would not have to enter the testing pool within 6 months.  But since Brock Lesnar, this has changed.  This situation is a little different since Lee was previously.

Payout Perspective:

While Lee doses not blame the UFC, it’s hard not to.  Certainly, the UFC should know its own anti-doping policy and the corresponding USADA rules.  Moreover, this fight was a late add to next Saturday’s UFC 216.  It’s example of an oversight that should have not taken place as we know that Faria and Lee are probably not going to be compensated despite probably expending money to start the process of training.

USADA flags light heavyweight newcomer

September 30, 2017

Earlier this week, Azamat Murzakanov was flagged by USADA for a potential anti-doping violation.  The Russian was supposed to debut this past June but withdrew due to injury.  He now faces a 2-year suspension from the organization before event beginning.

Murzakanov was flagged for an out-of-sample competition stemming from a September 2nd test.  The light heavyweight was 7-0 prior to the UFC.

Payout Perspective:

Murzakanov was signed by the UFC but has yet to appear in the octagon.  He may never do so due to the flagged test.  He was in the testing pool since he was scheduled to fight in the UFC but had to withdraw due to injury.

Nick Roehrick accepts 1 years suspension from USADA

September 21, 2017

UFC light heavyweight Nick Roehrick has accepted a one-year suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.  Roehrick was notified last month of a potential UFC anti-doping violation stemming from an August 8th test.

Roehrick tested positive for the presence of clomiphene, an estrogen blocker banned year-round, and its metabolite, 4-hydroxyclomiphene.  The suspension is retroactive to August 17, 2017, when the provisional suspension was imposed.

Via the USADA release:

Clomiphene is not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the male population, meaning such off-label clinical use has not been thoroughly studied for safety and efficacy. Clomiphene also indirectly promotes the secretion of testosterone. Increasing testosterone, especially when combined with strength training, has been demonstrated to increase fat-free mass, muscle size, and strength in males, potentially leading to performance enhancement in sport.

Payout Perspective:

The 30-year-old fighter had just one fight in the UFC, a loss to Jarod Cannonier at the TUF 25 Finale in July.  The maximum sentence for a first offense is 2 years so the 1 years suspension mitigates a prolonged appeal process.

Brazilian heavyweight set for UFC debut flagged by USADA

September 19, 2017

The UFC was notified that heavyweight Carlos Felipe failed a USADA out-of-competition drug test from a sample collected on July 29th.

As a result, Felipe has been taken off the UFC card in Sao Paulo, Brazil on October 28th.  He was set to face Christian Columbo.  The UFC will seek to find a replacement for Columbo.  This would have been Felipe’s debut in the UFC.  The 22-year-old is undefeated in his pro career going 8-0.

The UFC provided its standard statement upon notification from USADA:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Carlos Felipe of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on July 29, 2017. Because of the proximity to Felipe’s upcoming scheduled bout in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on October 28, 2017, against Christian Columbo, Felipe has been removed from the card and UFC is currently seeking a replacement.

USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Felipe. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.

Payout Perspective:

The Brazilian prospect was outstanding on the regional circuit but the failed test may leave him on the sidelines for a couple years if he does not have a good reason for the failed test.

Jesse Taylor notified of potential anti-doping violation

September 13, 2017

The Ultimate Fighter Redemption winner, Jesse Taylor, has been notified by USADA of a potential anti-doping violation and has been pulled from his fight at UFC Fight Night 121.

He was notified of a flagged out-of-competition sample collected on August 22nd.

Taylor was to face Belal Muhammad in Sydney on November 19th.

Payout Perspective:

This is bittersweet for many that rooted for Taylor as he was infamously kicked off of the 7th season of TUF prior to the Finale.  After one loss in the UFC, he was cut and spent most of his career traveling the world fighting in different promotions.  This TUF season, he made it back to the Finale and was successful this past July.  Now, it appears that he may be looking at another departure from the UFC based on the results of this violation.  We shall see what becomes of JT.

Jon Jones B sample comes up positive for Turinabol

September 12, 2017

ESPN reports that the “B” sample from Jon Jones’ failed drug test was positive for the banned substance Turinabol.  Jones has a right to appeal and it appears that his team is working with USADA and UFC.

USADA notified Jones of a flagged in-competition test in leadup to his fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in July.  If deemed guilty of the banned anabolic steroid he would face a maximum ban of 4 years as this is his second offense.  The first USADA test was appealed by Jones and he lost his arbitration and was banned one year from the UFC.

USADA stressed that due process should play out prior to anyone drawing conclusions.

Jones actually faces a potential sanction from the California State Athletic Commission and USADA.  He could appeal both rulings if he is not satisfied with each.

Jones denies use and is trying to determine the source of the banned substance and is looking at potential tainted supplements.

Payout Perspective:

Realistically, the B sample finding is not surprising considering that it is taken from his original sample that failed the test.  Still, Jones has options in terms of appealing the decision and/or working with USADA to trace the contents of the alleged tainted supplement.  Even if they discover the source, it is ultimately Jones’ responsibility for what goes into his body and he will suffer some sanction and away from the Octagon.  While USADA is cautioning everyone not to jump to conclusions, it’s an effort to ensure that there is no appearance of unfairness in the process.

Jon Jones USADA blood tests post-UFC 214 were negative

September 3, 2017

MMA Fighting reports that Jon Jones passed a USADA blood test post-UFC 214.  However, his urine test post-weigh-ins at UFC 214 indicated a failed test.

However, the blood test would not have been screened for Turinabol, the drug that is banned by the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.  In addition, MMA Fighting learned that Jones passed two USADA out-of-competition tests on July 6th and 7th.  One a blood and urine test and the other a urine test.

Despite the contrary results during the month of July, Jones could be facing a maximum of a 4 year banishment from the UFC.

Payout Perspective:

This case will likely face another appeal if the preliminary investigations are inconclusive.  Obviously, Jones could still be liable of taking a banned substance despite passing early out-of-competition drug tests and the in-competition blood test.  The likely hope is to mitigate the suspension.

Jon Jones notified of potential USADA violation for failed test

August 22, 2017

Jon Jones was notified of a potential USADA violation stemming from an in-competition drug test occurring after the UFC 214 weigh-ins on July 28th.  He now faces a four-year suspension from the UFC due to his second violation of the company’s anti-doping policy.

UPDATED: Via ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

The UFC has produced its statement regarding the news:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Jon Jones of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an in-competition sample collected following his weigh-in on July 28, 2017.

USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Jones, as it relates to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and future UFC participation. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) also retains jurisdiction over this matter as the sample collection was performed the day before Jones’ bout at UFC 214 in Anaheim, CA, and USADA will work to ensure that the CSAC has the necessary information to determine its proper judgment of Jones’ potential anti-doping violation.

Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.

Through Jones’ agent, Malki Kawa, the former UFC light heavyweight champion released a statement:

We are all at a complete loss for words right now. Jon, his trainers, his nutritionists and his entire camp have worked tirelessly and meticulously the past 12 months to avoid this exact situation. We are having the samples tested again to determine the validity or source of contamination. Jon is crushed by this news and we are doing whatever we can as a team, to support him.

It is believed that Jones tested positive for an anabolic steroid.  Jones tested positive for clomiphene and letrozol  prior to UFC 200 in July 2016.

Payout Perspective:

Years from now we will wonder how good Jones could have been.  But with this new finding, its clear that he will be out for some time.  Even if the ruling is overturned, and the four years are reduced, months, maybe a year will go by without clarification.  It seems, once again, that Jones may have taken a non-FDA supplement which likely did not include all of its contents on its label.  Recall, Jones’ previous failure was due to a “dick pill” that was sold online.  Unfortunately, for as many chances Jones receives, he hands back disappointment to you each time.

Junior dos Santos flagged by USADA, claims it was from contaminated product

August 18, 2017

Junior dos Santos was notified by USADA of a potential violation of the UFC anti-doping policy and he has been taken off UFC 215.  JDS was to fight heavyweight up and comer Francis Ngannou.

JDS denies taking PEDs and released a statement to MMA Junkie through his rep Ana Claudia Guedes.

Junior tested positive for a substance called Hydrochlorothiazide, which is a diuretic and is banned by USADA due to its use as a masking agent. We do not know where this substance came from. Junior has had his blood and urine randomnly (sic) tested many times and has never once tested positive for a banned substance.

We requested testing of his B sample today. Most times, the B sample will show the identical results as the A sample. Therefore, we are already working on analyzing his nutritional supplements and medications to determine whether anything might have been contaminated. Jeff Novitzky and Donna Marcolini of the UFC have provided the guidance for this process, and we are grateful to them for their professionalism and competence.

Junior remains committed to and supportive of USADA drug testing – even if he is bearing an unfortunate consequence of it. He spoke personally with Francis Ngannou and apologized for the unintended consequence to him. Junior thanks Francis for the sympathy, understanding, and respect that transpired during their call, and very much looks forward to resolving this situation so that he and Francis can set up a new date to face one another.

Payout Perspective:

The former UFC Heavyweight Champion is in the unenviable situation of finding a purported contaminated product that contained the banned substance.  As we just wrote about Guido Cannetti receiving a 10-month suspension for a contaminated substance, JDS claims that the illicit substance found in his sample is from a something he has no knowledge of its origin.  Cannetti’s fight with USADA took a long time and one can only wonder how long such a process would take for JDS.  Notably, Tom Lawlor effectively retired from MMA and turned to pro wrestling due to a flagged USADA test.  Similarly, Lawlor claimed he did not know how the banned substance got into his system even after an extensive review of his intake.  On the other end, in December 2016, Cristiano Justino was flagged by USADA, but despite facing a 1 year suspension, she was able to work with USADA officials and was able to compete in the UFC in July 2017.  In Cyborg’s case, she was able to trace the origins of the banned substance, worked with her physician and USADA and did not face a year away.  Although it is early, JDS must determine the contaminated product he may have taken which caused the positive test.

Cannetti given 10-month sanction by USADA for contaminated product

August 18, 2017

Argentinian Guido Cannetti has accepted a 10-month sanction after testing positive for multiple prohibited substances from a contaminated supplement according to a USADA release.

The 37 year old tested positive for ostarine, the stanozolol metabolites 16β-hydroxystanozolol and 4β-hydroxystanozolol, as well as hydrochlorothiazide and chlorothiazide, following an out-of-competition test conducted on October 5, 2016.  Ostarine and stanozolol are prohibited substances in the class of Anabolic Agents, while hydrochlorothiazide and chlorothiazide are prohibited substances in the class of Diuretics of Masking Agents per USADA’s release on Friday.

Cannetti provided USADA officials with opened and sealed containers of dietary supplements that he was using at the time of the relevant sample collection and the he declare on his doping control form.  After testing the provided supplements with a WADA-accredited lab, it concluded that they contained the prohibited substances despite not being listed on the supplement label.

Cannetti’s last fight in the UFC was in August 2015 when he defeated Hugo Viana at UFC 190 in Brazil.  To give some context on how long ago this was, Ronda Rousey defeated Bethe Corriea in the main event.

Payout Perspective:

Almost 2 years after his last fight in the UFC, Cannetti is served a 10-month sanction.  It would seem that taking a 2 year suspension would have taken less time.  Still, Cannetti’s reduced suspension due to a contaminated supplement reflects the issues with the results management process and fighters being educated on what they put in their bodies.  Certainly, the fact that the supplement did not disclose the prohibited substance was contained in the product makes it difficult to assess blame to Cannetti.  However, in the end, it is the fighter that is responsible for what goes in his or her body.

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