Brazilian strawweight accepts 2 year USADA sanction

October 27, 2019

USADA announced that Istela Iane Nunes Souza has accepted a two-year sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy after testing positive for stanozolol metabolites.

The Brazilian fighter tested positive for multiple stanozolol metabolites as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample on July 22, 2019.  The Brazilian was scheduled to make her promotional debut with a fight against Angela Hill at UFC Mexico City this past September.  Instead, the she will have to serve a two-year suspension which will be up in July 2021.

USADA clears Diaz to fight at UFC 244

October 25, 2019

Nate Diaz will fight at UFC 244 next Saturday as USADA has cleared the Stockton-native of a drug test which found elevated levels of a banned substance.  Diaz tweeted about the adverse finding and that he would be out of the bout next week.  But, Dana White said on Friday via twitter that the fight was on.

Diaz’s levels of Ligandrol, a banned substance known as LGD-4033 which stimulates muscle growth, was detected at a “double picogram/mL” level.  The source of the substance was traced back to a legal supplement Diaz ingested, which was categorized as an organic, vegan, plant-based daily vitamin.

The lengthy statement from the UFC can be found via Ariel Helwani’s tweet below:

The UFC emphasized that Diaz had not committed an anti-doping policy violation and has not been provisionally suspended and is not subject to any sanctions.  Similar to what we hear from Jon Jones’ exoneration last year, the UFC stated that there was no “appreciable performance enhancing or therapeutic benefit from the significantly limited amount of LGD-4033 that may be present in his system…”

Diaz should be facing Masvidal next week in the main event of UFC 244.

Payout Perspective:

Clearly the news that Diaz may have had an adverse finding from a USADA test was an alarm to the UFC as it was anticipating a huge payday from its annual New York event.  One has to infer that the expedited nature of these findings were done in order to save the main event and a fighter from having to serve the standard provisional suspension which occurs with an adverse finding.  Many athletes have had their careers and livelihoods put on hold due to a contaminated supplement.  Josh Barnett noted this on social media Friday night.  While its great news that fans get to see Diaz fight, its also shows that there is a process for which USADA can determine these findings without having athletes being put on prolonged suspensions.  Hopefully, the policy changes for the better soon.

Report: Diaz not yet provisionally suspended by USADA

October 25, 2019

ESPN reports that Nate Diaz has not been provisionally suspended by USADA despite his tweet that a USADA drug test found a potential banned substance in his system.

The report quotes a USADA spokesperson that the, “UFC and USADA are gathering information and will issue a statement as soon as possible.”  The ESPN report nots that Diaz tested positive for trace amounts of a prohibited selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM).

According to another report by Bloody Elbow’s Nick Baldwin, USADA would have a statement about the situation on Friday.

Payout Perspective:

If it is true that Diaz failed a USADA drug test, then per the current rules, he should be out of next Saturday’s fight.  If USADA determines that Diaz can fight under some sort of clarification, you have to think that the UFC influenced it into making this decision.  Certainly, its unfortunate that Diaz had an adverse finding which may be due to a tainted supplement (according to Diaz).  But, if USADA allows him to fight Saturday, one has to wonder what went on in making the decision.  Also, it would bring into question cases where fighters had been provisionally suspended due to similar situations.

UFC Heavyweight suspended two years by USADA

October 25, 2019

UFC Giacomo Lemos has accepted a two-year sanction for testing positive for drostanolone and its metabolite according to a statement from USADA.

The heavyweight has yet to fight in the UFC but a drug test was flagged by USADA from July 9, 2019.

Via USADA release Lemos the 30 year old Brazilian tested positive for drostanolone and its metabolite 2α-methyl-5α-androstan-3α-ol-17-one as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample.  It is an anabolic steroid that helps performance enhancement.

The announcement was issued on Thursday prior to Nate Diaz’s tweet that he would not be fighting at UFC 244 due to an adverse finding from a drug test.

Diaz tweets he’s out of UFC 244

October 24, 2019

Nate Diaz sent out a bombshell on social media today when he tweeted out that USADA had found an adverse finding in a drug test and is therefore out of next week’s showdown with Jorge Masvidal on November 2nd in New York.  The news, which has yet to be confirmed by USADA or the UFC as of the time of this writing, means that one of the most anticipated fights of this year looks to be off.

Diaz sent out a tweet of a typed message on his phone.

The message states Diaz, “tested with elevated levels that they say may be from a tainted supplement.” In detesting this ruling, Diaz noted, “I only take Whole Foods or natural foods supplements.”

For his part, Masvidal sent out a tweet in support of Diaz.

Payout Perspective:

If this means Diaz is truly out of the fight, we do not know if Masvidal will take another opponent or if it is just a big blow for the event.  It would be a big gain for boxing casuals that night as it is the same date as the Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev fight.  This may gain some fans that would pay for the UFC PPV to pay for a DAZN subscription.  As for the possibility of a tainted supplement, this looks like it may be the case.  We have seen numerous findings of a tainted supplement where a banned substance is in the product although not named on the label.  This could mean Diaz unknowingly ingested the product without his knowledge.  But to the larger point at this time, it would mean that Diaz is out of the November 2nd fight barring any sort of last-minute findings.

Judge sides with supplement maker in motion in Lyman Good’s lawsuit

September 6, 2019

The Court in the Lyman Good nutritional supplement lawsuit has granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss related to the issue of spoliation of evidence.  While the court will not outright dismiss the case, the order states that the jury may infer from the lack of evidence.  A trial date has yet to be set.

Order on Motion to Dismiss … by Jason Cruz on Scribd

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York heard oral arguments on August 19th on the Motion to Dismiss from defendants Gaspari Nutrition and Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals.  The Court make a quick ruling by granting in part defendants’ Motion to Dismiss on the same day.  Defendants had requested that the Court dismiss the case due to the spoliation of evidence – a missing bottle of Anavite which Good claims was contaminated and per defendants’ is the key piece of evidence in the lawsuit.  The request to dismiss the case is one of the potential penalties under the rules of civil procedure if a party does not provide evidence to another.  It is the most severe of the penalties. In addition, defendants originally requested the Good’s attorney, David Fish, recuse himself from the case since he could be a potential witness (i.e., Good claimed he gave the bottle to Fish but Fish stated that he no longer had it).  But defendants seemed to back off this claim.

 

Defendants also pointed out that the bottle in question was not listed in Good’s list of supplements he was taking to USADA.

Defendants’ Motion also shows its request to Good and his attorney for the bottle in question. The below correspondence which was attached to the Motion from defendants shows a bottle they received but not the subject Anavite.

There is no real opinion as to what the Court dismissed of the claims that Good set forth or whether this was a general granting that plaintiff and his counsel mishandled the evidence.  The ruling seems to imply that a jury could not side with Good based on the lack of evidence and/or the defendants would have a necessary advantage since they would be allowed to argue that a reasonable jury could not conclude that the product was contaminated because plaintiff does not have the product.

Payout Perspective:

This case shows that not every fighter that sues a supplement maker will receive $27 million dollars like Yoel Romero (or at least receive a judgment for that amount).  There is no trial date set but one would imagine that Good will look to settle or defendants will go for the kill here.  In speculating on the granting of defendants’ motion without a written opinion, one has to believe that the Judge does not believe that a jury will be able to find in favor of Good without the evidence.

Defendants’ Motion to D… by Jason Cruz on Scribd

Motion to Dismiss – Opposition by Jason Cruz on Scribd

Motion to Dismiss – Reply B… by Jason Cruz on Scribd

Dan Hardy getting ready for a comeback?

August 21, 2019

A lot has happened in the sport of MMA since 2012.  It was Dan Hardy’s last time in the Octagon.  Now, the current UFC commentator says he’s getting ready for a return to the Octagon.

Hardy announced on the Joe Rogan Podcast (via MMA Junkie) that he is entering the USADA testing protocol.  According to the rules, once he’s been in the random-testing pool for four months he’ll be able to fight in the UFC once again.

You may recall that Hardy was sidelined due to Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.  The past several years Hardy has served as a commentator for the promotion mainly doing European events.

At 37, one has to conclude that Hardy misses the competition of MMA and believes that his health will not be a factor upon return.

Payout Perspective:

Hardy does a great job as a commentator but you have to believe that he thinks it was a ‘now or never’ situation on a return to the Octagon.  Nate Diaz’s return from a three-year hiatus may have motivated Hardy but his health situation is something to give pause upon return. With the UFC putting on weekly events all over the world, Hardy may be a name that might see a rebirth of a career if physicians allow it to happen.

UFC middleweight given 3 month sanction by USADA

July 18, 2019

USADA announced that Alen Amedovski has accepted a six-month sanction for the use of marijuana above the accepted range.  The native of Italy had his sanction reduced to just three months after completion of a USADA approved drug awareness and management program.

The UFC’s anti-doping partner on Thursday announced a three-month suspension for Amedovski.  An in-competition urine sample came in over the 150 ng/mL limit for Carboxy-THC for his octagon debut at UFC on ESPN+ 7. The event took place April 20 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  His period of ineligibility ends Saturday.

Amedovski lost a decision to fellow middleweight Krzysztof Jotko in his debut with the UFC.  He was previously undefeated after coming off of two victories in Bellator.

Payout Perspective:

Amedovski’s infraction was exceeding the threshold for marijuana use at the time of the fight.  With the softening of regulations around the nation, it would be interesting to see if the UFC decides to lighten the restrictions for its use.  This might not be within WADA regulations, but would be something that could be done.  Obviously, the drug awareness program helped mitigate the already cut-down sanction against the 31 year old middleweight.

USADA issues 2 year ban for UFC light heavyweight

July 9, 2019

Former UFC light heavyweight Ivan Shtyrkov has accepted a two-year suspension from USADA for violation of the UFC anti-doping rules.  The Russian stated on social media that he tested positive for a banned substance and this was confirmed by USADA on Tuesday.

Despite accepting the suspension, Shtyrkov has signed with Rizin FF.

Shtyrkov accepted a fight against Devin Clark at UFC on ESPN +7 this past March but that fight was scrapped after USADA notified the UFC that two out-of-competition urine samples had returned an “atypical” result.  The samples contained the banned steroid boldenone and its metabolite 5β-androst-1-en-17β-ol-3-one.  Boldenone is a veterinarian drug used on horses but has been used by professional athletes.  Notably, Stephan Bonnar and Josh Barnett had tested positive for the banned substance.

Boldenone is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Shtyrkov is undefeated with 16 wins and one draw.  It was initially announced that he was “sick” and hospitalized as a reason from pulling out of his fight with Devin Clark.   Shtyrkov’s manager indicated that a USADA test came back with an abnormal reading and not a positive test for PEDs.

Payout Perspective: 

 Here’s a case where you can argue that the USADA tests were not conclusive for the banned substance.  Yet, evidence was clear enough to pull him from his UFC debut and we are brought back to the argument about how long a substance can remain in one’s system.  We’ve seen this with Jon Jones and this may have been another case.  Despite the ban, Shtyrkov has decided to continue his career with Rizin.

Sean O’Malley USADA tests come back positive from residual Ostarine levels

June 22, 2019

Sean O’Malley is out of his July 6 fight with Marlon Vera according to the bantamweight in an Instagram post.  Coming off of a six month suspension, O’Malley could be facing another USADA suspension as he stated that a recent test found Ostarine in his system.

O’Malley was coming off of a suspension for a finding of Ostarine in a contaminated supplement.

 

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Punished twice for doing nothing wrong. I have never taken anything illegal. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I will continue to train and get better everyday. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength” -Marcus Aurelius

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He stated in his Instagram post that two recent tests have found Ostarine.  He claims that USADA believes that his tests are related to residual from last level and “the low level is not providing me with no performance advantage,” per O’Malley’s social media post.

A similar situation occurred with Jon Jones and Turinabol when USADA determined that the trace amounts would not give him an advantage.

Payout Perspective:

O’Malley seems upset with this outcome but one has to wonder if USADA and the UFC are now changing its standard when it comes to drug testing.  As it did with Jon Jones, it is now focusing on whether or not the banned substance in the system would give the athlete a “performance advantage” versus a zero-tolerance standard which would hold the athlete responsible for what they ingested.  Obviously, the issue of contaminated substances may be factored in to consideration which may be O’Malley’s argument.  Yet, it’s still seems like a shift on how USADA addresses drug test failures.

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