Nick Diaz flagged for USADA Whereabouts violation

June 29, 2017

Nick Diaz has been notified of a potential UFC Anti-Doping Violation for not informing USADA about his whereabouts.


The UFC organization has been notified that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Nick Diaz of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from Diaz’s alleged accumulation of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period. Diaz, like all other UFC athletes, is enrolled in USADA’s UFC Registered Testing Pool and required to file accurate Whereabouts information in order to be located for out-of-competition, no-notice testing.

Despite not having a fight, Diaz is still in the active pool of UFC contracted fighters that must abide by the USADA protocol.  It appears that Diaz has failed to take three tests.

Payout Perspective:

Whether or not you are a fan of Diaz it’s clear that a failure to test is similar to being flagged for a failed USADA test.  Diaz will have to have some excuse.  Perhaps he has some excuse but more likely than not he just did not want to test since he has no pending fight.  This excuse will not work but we will keep you updated.

George Sullivan issued 1 year suspension by USADA

June 20, 2017

USADA announced that George Sullivan tested positive for a prohibited substance and has accepted a one-year sanction for his second violation of the UFC anti-doping policy.

The 36 year old tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolite 4-hydroxyclomiphene.  Sullivan was pulled from his fight at UFC 208 this past February after he was informed of a potential violation from an out-of-competition test from January 14, 2017.  He cited a prescription medication as the cause for the flagged test.  Upon a review of Sullivan’s medical records by USADA, it was determined that he was using Clomiphene Citrate under the care of a physician to treat a medical condition.  The problem was that the use was an “off-label” treatment of the drug (it was a prescription fertility medication) and not approved by the USFDA for use by males.

Since Sullivan was under the care of medical physician, his period of ineligibility was reduced by 1 year.

You might recall that he was pulled from his fight at UFC on Fox 20 in July for disclosing information to USADA and was issued a provisional suspension.

Sullivan is 3-2 in the UFC.  Sullivan’s period of ineligibility is retroactive to his out of competition test on January 14, 2017.

Payout Perspective:

This is an interesting case since Sullivan previous provisional suspension occurred when he declared a prohibited substance last July.  He was just days away from serving that suspension when he is issued another year’s suspension.  Obviously, the “off-label” use of a drug carries different connotations but is not out of the ordinary with physicians.  Unfortunately, USADA will not yield on these types of matters..

Casey’s UFC 211 drug test flagged by Texas

May 26, 2017

UFC women’s strawweight fighter Cortney Case tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone in an in-competition drug screen at UFC 211 on May 13th.  The test does not mean she took a banned substance as Texas can cite a fighter for elevated T:E levels.

Per MMA Fighting, Casey had a testosterone-to-epitestosterone ration of 5.4:1.  Per Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) rules anything over a 4:1 ratio is flagged.  The report also notes that she is under suspension for three months on the American Boxing Commission database which results from a failed drug test in Texas.

Payout Perspective:

The sample from Casey will be further tested via isotope-ratio mass spectrometry to determine if the elevated levels came from testosterone.  If that is the case, Casey would be disciplined.  Again, we are left here to look at the disclosure forms prior to the fight.  Casey did not disclose any substance that might elevate her T:E levels which might have mitigated the fighting.  Since nothing was disclosed, a finding via the isotope test of testosterone would mean a suspension.

USADA has not been in contacts with TDLR regarding the test since there has not been a potential anti-doping policy violation at this time.  We once again see the potential conflicts between the promoter, its third-party administrator and commissions.  Here, Casey will likely be fined and possibly suspended by Texas.  Unless there is a banned substance, she may not be suspended at all.

Gastelum’s USADA suspension reduced to 3 months

May 12, 2017

Kelvin Gastelum has accepted a 3-month suspension from USADA as a result of an in-competition sample finding of marijuana.  However, Gastelum will be ready to fight this summer and a rumored bout with Chris Weidman may headline July’s UFC on Fox event in New York.

Originally, Gastelum was suspended 6 months but it has been reduced to 3 months.  Gastelum defeated Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106 in Brazil in March.  He settled with the Brazilian Sports Court adjudicating the failed drug test in Brazil in which the middleweight paid 20% of his fight purse (in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour he refrained from disclosing how much the fine was) and the decision was reversed to a no-contest.  He was also handed a 90-day suspension although he has vowed never to fight in Brazil again.

The USADA suspension runs concurrent with the Brazilian court penalty.  It was reduced by USADA as he completed a drug awareness program.

Payout Perspective:

The reduction seemingly makes everything right (except for the 20% purse fine) as Gastelum does not have to sit out a great length and does not have to spend money on an appeal of the decision.  We should know on Friday when Gastelum is fighting although headlining a UFC on Fox event should be a nice present for the trouble he has gone through with the finding.  Obviously, Gastelum must be aware of the USADA rules with the finding of marijuana metabolites so he has to be careful.

Penne flagged by UFC for potential USADA violation

May 11, 2017

Jessica Penne has been flagged by USADA after re-analysis of a sample that was previously cleared.  It is the first time that USADA has identified a UFC fighter based on a re-analysis based upon by the contents of a biological passport.

Penne, who lost her last fight in April, is facing a potential UFC anti-doping policy violation due to a prohibited substance detected in a March 20th out-of-competition sample.

A biological passport tracks a variety of biomarkers after sample collection.  USADA began to compile this on UFC athletes it tested since the inception of the program in 2015.  A biomarker is an objective measure that is evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes or pharmacological responses to a therapeutic intervention.  It allows an agency like USADA to evaluate an athlete’s levels of specific blood and hormonal values over time and determine if there are changes.  Penne’s sample was flagged for further analysis “due to an increased degree of variability in urinary biomarkers.”  The re-analysis revealed a prohibited substance.

Payout Perspective:

It is unknown what the prohibited substance may be but the re-analysis based on the biological passport is a reminder that USADA continues to track your profile over time.  Here, it appears that Penne would have not been flagged had it been her first test with the UFC.  But, over time, one could see a change.  We will see what this possibly could mean for the 34 year old fighter.

Gastelum accepts settlement for failed drug test

May 8, 2017

Kelvin Gastelum has taken a settlement offer to resolve a finding of marijuana metabolites in his system.  As a result, he was docked 20 percent of his fight purse, suspended 90 days retroactive to his fight against Vitor Belfort in Brazil.

Gastelum KO’d Belfort in the first round this past March.  His drug test sample that night was positive for Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannabonol (Carboxy-THC) that was above the 180 ng/mL allowance by WADA standards.

The Superior Tribunal de Justica Desportiva do MMA (STJDMMA) confirmed that Gastelum’s victory has been overturned and ruled in no contest.  The Brazilian court worked with USADA and CABMMA to broker the settlement which likely means he will not receive an additional penalty from USADA.

As of Monday morning USADA has not produced an official statement on Gastelum.

Brazilian outlet Combate was the first to announce the settlement.

Payout Perspective:

Gastelum has stated that he will no longer accept fights in Brazil.  Obviously, paying for training camp to fly to Brazil and then getting fined 20% of your fight purse would do that to a fighter.  He was originally scheduled to face Anderson Silva in Brazil this June but was taken off the card when the positive drug test came out.  The 90 day suspension is almost up for Gastelum so that’s good news for him.

Abreu given a 4-year suspension by USADA for second violation

May 5, 2017

Ricardo Abreu has been given a four-year sanction by USADA for his second anti-doping policy violation.  Abreu is serving a suspension when he was notified of another potential anti-doping violation.

In his second test, Abreu tested positive for 19-norandrosterone (19-NA), the main metabolite of nandrolone, from an out-of-competition test taken this past December 21.

In February, news came out about the second test which led to this second violation.  Abreu cited depression as one of the reasons for his downfall.  He is said to be retired from MMA.

Payout Perspective:

The news today serves as a mere formality for Abreu who states he is retired from MMA.  He was going through personal issues at the time of both positive tests so this might have led him to use these PEDs.  If he were to return, he would have to serve out the 4-year suspension.  At 33, I do not think this is likely to happen.

Mir handed 2-year suspension for USADA violation

April 22, 2017

USADA issued an official 2 year sanction to former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir stemming from multiple positive tests for a prohibited substance.  The tests came from an in-competition test on March 20, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 85 in Brisbane, Australia.

The 38 year tested positive for a long-term metabolite of dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT).  It is also known as oral turinabol.  It is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.  He was provisionally suspended on April 8, 2016.

Via USADA release:

Upon learning of the positive results of the sample analyzed in Tokyo, USADA had all previously collected stored samples for Mir reanalyzed at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah (SMRTL), which had also recently implemented methodology for the detection of newly identified long-term DHCMT metabolites. As a result of the additional analyses, SMRTL discovered that an out-of-competition sample Mir provided on February 5, 2016, which had previously been reported to USADA as negative for the presence of prohibited substances, was also positive for the same long-term DHCMT metabolite found in Mir’s in-competition sample.

Mir had claimed that the positive result may have come from Kangaroo meat which he ate prior to his fight.

Payout Perspective:

The results likely bring an end to Mir’s career in the UFC.  It also reflects the need for fighters to be vigilant of what goes in their bodies.  Mir does not recall what he may have eaten abroad and does not know if USADA would truly travel to Australia even if he were to list each meat.  Regardless, the finding without any defense or mitigating circumstances meant that Mir will be assessed the 2-year sanction.

Gastelum flagged by USADA for marijuana metabolites

April 6, 2017

The up and down career of UFC middleweight Kelvin Gastelum has taken another blow as USADA has informed him of a potential violation stemming from marijuana metabolites above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL from an in-competition test.

The UFC statement reads in part:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed Kelvin Gastelum of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation involving Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannabinol (“Carboxy-THC”) which is a metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish, above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL, stemming from an in-competition sample collected in conjunction with his recent bout in Fortaleza, Brazil on March 11, 2017.

Gastelum defeated Vitor Belfort on March 11, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 106 in Brazil.  Gastelum was scheduled to face Anderson Silva at UFC 212 in June.  It’s likely that this fight is off since he must go on provisional suspension per the anti-doping rules.

Payout Perspective:

It’s clear from most people that I have heard from that this should not be a violation.  While marijuana is not necessarily banned, registering over 180 ng/mL from a test is a violation.  It appears that there may not be an easy alibi for Gastelum.  We will see how USADA handles this in terms of whether there are mitigating circumstances (he’d have to show he bears no fault or negligence for marijuana in his system or a reduction based on degree of fault) for Gastelum’s use.  If not, he’s facing a 1-year suspension.

For Gastelum, this is a terrible setback for a career in which he’s battled weight but seemed to have found his stride at 185.

UFC Heavyweight, Ledet, receives 4 month sanction from USADA

April 5, 2017

USADA announced that Justin Ledet accepted a four-month sanction after testing positive for a prohibited substance from a contaminated supplement per its UFC Anti-Doping web site.

The sanction is retroactive to January 12, 2017, when the out-of-competition test was taken.  Ledet


Ledet, 29, tested positive for 5α-androst-1-ene-3α-ol-17-one, a metabolite of 1-testosterone and 1-androstenedione, following an out-of-competition test conducted on January 12, 2017. 1-testosterone and 1-androstenedione are non-Specified Substances 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.

Following notification of his positive test, Ledet provided USADA with an open container of a dietary supplement product he was using at the time of the relevant sample collection, which he had also declared on his sample collection paperwork and researched before using. Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement label, preliminary testing conducted on the contents of the open container indicated that it contained the anabolic agent 1-androstenedione. The presence of an undisclosed prohibited substance in a product is regarded as contamination.

Payout Perspective:

A couple days earlier Lyman Good received a 6 month sanction for a tainted vitamin.  It appears that Ledet received 2 months shorter due to the fact that he was able to produce the dietary supplement and declared it on his collection paperwork.  The short suspension, which ends, this month reflects the fact that it pays to disclose the information and keep track of everything that goes in your body.

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