Calvillo claims loss of Body Armor sponsorship after positive test for marijuana

March 20, 2018

Cynthia Calvillo claims that Body Armor dropped her as a sponsor as a result of her drug-test failure for marijuana at UFC 219.  Calvillo is serving a 6 month suspension from USADA and was given an additional 3 months from the Nevada Athletic Commission for the infraction.

In an interview Monday on The MMA Hour, Calvillo admitted to the use of marijuana which led to a drug test failure after her loss to Carla Esparza.  Calvillo was doled a 6-month suspension by USADA for a test that was over the allowable limit for marijuana and its metabolites.  However, the Nevada Athletic Commission gave her a 9-month suspension and fined her 15% of her fight earnings from December’s bout.

Calvillo stated in her interview that she was told that her usage on Christmas Eve prior to her December 30th fight would be fine.  Calvillo holds a medicinal marijuana card.  In California, where she resides, marijuana use is legal for medicinal and recreational purposes.  However, it is still a banned substance per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy guidelines and the Nevada Athletic Commission.

She believes that her sponsorship with Body Armor was rescinded due to the suspension.

Payout Perspective:

Calvillo’s loss of a sponsorship is unfortunate for the budding star.  It shows that there are companies that may be conservative with the people it chooses to represent it in public.  Notably, Kobe Bryant, the former NBA star was on trial for sexual assault, is a big investor in the company.  Yet, many companies have moral clauses which they may sever a sponsorship due to infractions like this.  Thus, its upon Calvillo to ensure that she does not get into any issues like failing a drug test.

NAC give Calvillo 3 more months in addition to USADA suspension

March 14, 2018

Cynthia Calvillo received an additional three-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission per MMA Junkie.  She was fined 15 percent of her disclosed $41,000 purse ($6,150) in addition to $436.08 in attorney’s fees.

USADA suspended Calvillo six-months for an in-competition drug test at UFC 219 that revealed marijuana metabolites in excess of the allowable limit of 180 ng/mL.  However, she was still subject to discipline from the NAC

She must now submit a clean drug test for steroids and diuretics 30, 15 and three days prior to receiving another fight license in Nevada.

Under the USADA suspension, her discipline would have been able to be reduced by three months if she had taken a drug education course.

Payout Perspective:

The additional suspension identifies an issue with double jurisdiction.  Even if Calvillo were to complete an approved drug course from USADA, thus reducing her suspension, the question of whether she can apply for a license in Nevada sooner may be in an issue. According to the Junkie article, she cannot apply for another license until September 30th.  Or, can she fight within 6 months in any state aside from Nevada?  The additional 3 months and fines also reflect the stance Nevada has on the use of marijuana which in itself is controversial.

 

Cro Cop’s end around his USADA drug suspension

March 10, 2018

Should Cro Cop have served his USADA suspension in full?

Bellator announced that Mirko Cro Cop would be facing Roy Nelson at Bellator 200 in London on May 25th.  Cro Cop “retired” in November 2015 in lieu of serving a two-year ban for violations of the UFC’s anti-doping program.  Cro Cop admitted to the use, attempted use and possession of human growth hormone following an out-of-competition test.  He was eventually released from the company.

But, Cro Cop did not retire, and in fact fought for Rizin FF in Japan.  Despite the inference that the USADA ban would be honored by other promotions and athletic regulators, it has not happened.

According to an MMA Junkie article, it’s still unclear on whether there will be an issue with Cro Cop obtaining a license.  Association of Boxing Commissions and Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation president Mike Mazzulli noted that he still considers Crop Cop “in the process of being licensed, and therefore subject to immediate drug tests.”  Yet, that does not answer the question about the USADA suspension.  Mohegan will be the regulator for Bellator in May for the London event.  It’s not clear as to if a fighter sits out a sanction but fights in an unregulated promotion, then comes back after the time of the sanction if they must adhere to the remaining time suspended.

Mazulli assumes that if they are able to drug test Cro Cop, the commission is likely to view the suspension served.

Payout Perspective:

Cro Cop’s suspension was issued in 2015 and since its March 2018, one might argue that the USADA suspension has been served.  Or has it?  Cro Cop was active during the two-year period in which he was supposed to be inactive.  So, we see the end-around with drug testing.  While one might not think this is an issue, it could come to a head with Bellator as more and more past-UFC fighters become available.  There is no consistent, regulatory drug-testing protocol or policy in place to deal with these issues.  While it is a product of the UFC’s proactive drug testing policy, Bellator must address what it will do in these grey areas.  Or, if it will not do anything at all.

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.

Via USADA:

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.

Ion Cutelaba accepts 6-month USADA suspension for ozone therapy

March 8, 2018

Ion Cutelaba has been suspended 6 months by USADA after declaring the use of an alternative therapeutic treatment that is prohibited under certain routes of administration.

Via USADA release:

Cutelaba, 24, declared the use of ozone therapy on his doping control paperwork during out-of-competition tests conducted on October 18, 2017, and October 19, 2017. Ozone therapy is a treatment that can be administered in a variety of methods, some of which are prohibited under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Based on Cutelaba’s doping control paperwork, USADA contacted the athlete to request more information about the route of administration in order to establish whether the treatment was permissible. Cutelaba’s physician subsequently provided documentation indicating that the treatment was administered on October 3, 2017, and October 17, 2017, in a prohibited manner, as it involved a blood transfusion. The WADA Prohibited List prohibits the administration or reintroduction of blood or red blood cell products of any origin or quantity in the circulatory system, unless a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption has been obtained. While Cutelaba was unaware of the violation and declared the treatment on his doping control paperwork, he was unable to refute the documentation provided.

Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete’s period of ineligibility for using a prohibited method may be reduced due to an individual’s voluntary admission of a violation and/or pursuant to an analysis of the athlete’s degree of fault for the anti-doping policy violation. Here, after taking both of those factors into consideration, USADA determined that a reduction to six-months from the standard two-year period of ineligibility was an appropriate sanction under the rules for Cutelaba’s violation.

Cutelaba’s six-month period of ineligibility began on November 3, 2017, the date he was provisionally suspended from competition. As a result of his violation, Cutelaba was previously removed from the Card for the UFC 217 event in New York City that was held on November 4, 2017.

Payout Perspective:

A modest suspension which ends in a couple months although it cost the 24-year-old a spot on UFC 217 in New York.  It’s clear that the blood transfusion given to Cutelaba was the primary issue and since there was not a TUE requested, there was a problem.  So, the issue is whether Cutelaba or his management knew the rules prior to the ozone therapy.

UFC Heavyweight accepts 1 year suspension

March 2, 2018

36-year-old Zu Anyanwu has accepted a one-year suspension from USADA for a failed drug test from an out-of-competition sample on October 18th.

Furosemide, which is in the class of diuretics and masking agents, and banned year round, was found in his failed test.  Anyanwu appeared on Dana White’s Contender Series last summer.  He lost to Justin Ledet in his UFC debut.

Via USADA release:

USADA announced today that UFC® athlete, Azunna Anyanwu, of Bensalem, Pa., has tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted the standard one-year sanction for his anti-doping policy violation.

Anyanwu, 36, tested positive for furosemide following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on October 18, 2017. Furosemide is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Anyanwu’s one-year period of ineligibility began on October 18, 2017, the date his positive sample was collected.

Payout Perspective:

The suspension does not bode well for the 36-year-old as he tries to start his UFC career.  Accepting the suspension probably the best strategy to get back into the octagon as soon as possible as any sort of appeal may have lengthened any time out.

Magomedov and Tukhgov accept 2-year sanctions for violating UFC Anti-Doping Policy

February 15, 2018

Ruslan Magomedov and Zubaira Tukhgov have accepted two-year sanctions for violating the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.  They will be eligible to fight in the UFC in September 2018.

Both fighters accepted two-year suspension as a result of out-of-competition positive tests on September 7, 2016 revealing ostarine in their systems.

Tukhugov also tested positive for ostarine in an out-of-competition test on October 29, 2016.  USADA indicated that since the second positive test resulted from a sample that was collected before he was notified of his first positive test, they were treated as a single violation.

Via USADA:

Following notification of their positive tests, both Magomedov and Tukhugov claimed they had tested positive due to their use of a contaminated supplement, which USADA was unable to confirm at that time to justify a reduction from the maximum two-year period of ineligibility for a non-Specified Substance.

Magomedov and Tukhugov subsequently exercised their right to have their cases submitted to a neutral arbitrator for resolution.

Magomedov’s and Tukhugov’s cases were consolidated, allowing for a single presentation of the athletes’ defenses to the independent arbitrator. During a multi-day hearing, the athletes presented testimony and submitted evidence in an attempt to support their supplement contamination claims and request for a reduced period of ineligibility. Nevertheless, after two days of testimony, USADA informed Magomedov and Tukhugov that it was still unwilling to consider a reduced sanction because it did not believe supplement contamination was a valid explanation for their positive tests. Thereafter, and before the conclusion of the hearing, USADA and the athletes reached an agreement to resolve the case, with Magomedov and Tukhugov each accepting a two-year period of ineligibility and agreeing to contribute a total of $10,000 toward the costs of the arbitration proceedings.

Magomedov’s and Tukhugov’s two-year periods of ineligibility began on September 26, 2016, the date the first of the athletes’ provisional suspensions was imposed.

Both Russian fighters train out of American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose.

Payout Perspective:

The settlement at time of arbitration likely means that the fighters’ case was not going well and the threat that an unfavorable ruling could have meant more of a penalty for both.  A two-year suspension means that they will be able to fight starting this September.  The arbitration hearing was the fourth of its kind under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.  The athlete has never won an arbitration hearing since the policy was put in place.

Jon Jones CSAC hearing set for February 27th

February 14, 2018

The California State Athletic Commission will have a hearing in Anaheim on Tuesday, February 27th to address an appeal from Jon Jones’ doping violation and license suspension from UFC 214.  The agenda posted by the CSAC website confirmed the hearing.

Jones was suspended after winning the UFC Light Heavyweight title in Anaheim this past July.  An in-competition drug test revealed a positive test for the banned substance Turinabol.

In addition, Jones will have another USADA arbitration hearing to determine the failed drug test.

Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa indicated that a resolution should occur by the end of March.  He also told MMA Fighting’s Luke Thomas that there is a “95-percent chance Jones will fight before the conclusion of 2018.”

Perhaps being positive, Jones has posted training videos on his social media account.  So, maybe there’s some good news for the former champion.

Payout Perspective:

This case has been lingering for a while.  We note that the next CSAC meeting after February is in May so if there is no resolution in a couple weeks, barring a special meeting.  I am not sure how Kawa believes Jones can be back before the end of 2018.  As a second-time offender, the UFC Anti-Doping Policy can hand down a 4-year ban to Jones.  His team denies he knowingly took the substance but even if that’s a mitigating factor, the team seems confident Jones will just receive a 1-year suspension.  Yet, he’d have to navigate both the CSAC and USADA hearings.  Jones seemed confident last time he was suspended, we will see if he has a better case this time around.

Bantamweight accepts one-year sanction from USADA for banned diuretic

February 5, 2018

Carls John de Tomas has accepted a one-year sanction for testing positive for a diuretic prohibited by the UFC anti-doping policy.

The Filipino fighter tested positive for furosemide on December 8, 2017 before his bout at the UFC Fight Night event in Fresno, California.

Via USADA:

Furosemide is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

De Tomas’ one-year period of ineligibility began on December 29, 2017, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. The athlete’s positive test also falls under the jurisdiction of the California State Athletic Commission, which has also sanctioned De Tomas with a one-year suspension and a $2,500 fine.

Pursuant to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, all UFC athletes serving a period of ineligibility for an anti-doping policy violation are required to continue to make themselves available for testing in order to receive credit for time completed under their sanction.

The 21-year-old lost to Alex Perez at UFC Fight Night 123 on December 9th.

Payout Perspective:

It was just the second fight for De Tomas in the UFC which may be another reason to wonder if fighters just starting in the UFC are more susceptible to failing a drug tests due to lack of knowledge or education of the UFC anti-doping policy.  De Tomas was also fined $2,500 by the California State Athletic Commission which is harsh for a fighter that just made $10,000 from his loss.

UFC Heavyweight accepts 1 year USADA ban

February 1, 2018

UFC Heavyweight James Mulheron has accepted a 1 year suspense from the UFC.  Mulheron tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolite.

 

Mulheron just had one fight in the UFC, a loss at UFC Fight Night 113 this past July in Glasgow, Scotland.  Prior to that he fought primarily in England.  He was scheduled to fight again at the UFC event in China this past November but an out-of-competition test was flagged and he was taken off the card.

Via USADA:

Mulheron, 29, tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolite, hydroxyclomiphene, following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on November 10, 2017. Clomiphene is a Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

Clomiphene is not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the male population, as its 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.

Mulheron’s one-year period of ineligibility began on November 17, 2017, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. As a result of his positive test, Mulheron was removed from the Card for the UFC Fight Night event in Shanghai, China, scheduled for November 25, 2017.

Payout Perspective:

The one-year ban seems as though Mulheron got off the hook fairly easy considering most of his MMA career occurs in England.  Even if he does not fight this year, Mulheron will need only wait until next fall to fight again.  The flagged tests seem to capture a lot of first or second time fighters which may be a result of lack of education on the program or a fighter not realizing the demands of drug testin.

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