The UFC/USADA Incident List: #1 – #100

For incidents 101 onward please see this post

1.Mirko Filipovic

Current status: Indefinite suspension ending no sooner than  Nov 2017 – released by the UFC

mirko650Cro Cop kicked off the USADA era, not testing positive, but by phoning the UFC to tell them he had been a naughty boy. On November 4th testers representing USADA visited his house and collected two samples from the Croatian. Later that day he contacted the UFC and told them that he had taken Human Growth Hormone. Five days later he admitted to USADA taking Hgh and his fate was effectively sealed. Initially retiring, and then blaming a shoulder injury and a German doctor in a website post, Cro Cop was nonetheless banned for two years on 25th November 2015. Sometime later he received an email confirming his samples from November 4th had passed the USADA scrutiny, but it must be noted, that only two samples were collected, which would be urine and blood for passport analysis, and in the absence of a “hgh specific” collection, his samples wouldn’t be analysed as such. Cro Cop was granted a release by the UFC in early 2016 and at that point his suspension was put on hold as he had left the testing pool.

Cro-Cop promptly ignored his suspension fighting multiple times in Japan causing consternation when he then was licensed by the Mohegan Sun Commission in the spring of 2018.

Tested during suspension? No, left the UFC.

2.Gleison Tibau

Current status: Suspension ended November 2017

On 4th December 2015 it was announced that the Brazilian had tested positive for EPO. He contested his innocence and claimed initially to have accidentally ingested a banned substance, making it possibly the first known case of ingested EPO. 19 days later, 2 days before Christmas its announced that he has failed a second test and his story is effectively thrown in the bin. In February he admits he will not be fighting the charges but claims:

I have to apologize to my fans because it was a medical mistake. We used a substance we thought wouldn’t be anything, we used it out of competition. I have my conscience clear that I took it without imagining I was doing something wrong.

Yes Gleison, because injecting Epo is totally normal, and there’s no way you would think you were cheating in any way. The next day he was banned for two years, and his result against Abel Trujillo reversed to a loss.

Tested during suspension? Tested September 2016, December 2016, March and August 2017

3.Yoel Romero

Current status: Suspension ended 11th July 2016

shedrxA month after Tibau and American Top Team rack up their second victim. Three weeks after his fight against Jacara Souza it was announced that Yoel had failed an out of competition test in late December. Protestations followed and a contaminated supplement was blamed as it was revealed the positive was due to a SARM, Ibutamoren. The culprit was found and he received a reduce sentence of 6 months after it was determined the supplement he was taking, Shed-RX, contained prohibited substances not indicated on the label. (Although why he was taking something branded “RX” – industry code for “Research Chemical” and something marketed as a “Fast acting diuretic” is anybody’s guess).

Tested during suspension? Tested twice in June 2016

4.Diego Brandao

Current status: Suspension ended 1st October 2016, released by the UFC

It all started innocently enough for former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Brandao. Positive for elevated levels of Carboxy-THC (Cannabis) following his fight against Brian Ortega a short ban was in the offing. It all went downhill from there however as Brandao was arrested for pistol-whipping a man outside a strip club, failed to turn up at his Nevada Athletic Comission hearing, and was ultimately cut by the UFC. Brandao was given 9 months by both USADA and the NSAC.

Tested during suspension? No, left the UFC.

5.Fabio Maldonado

Current status: Released by the UFC, last seen in Russia

Released by the UFC in December 2015, Maldonado decided to tell everyone in April that he spent his final months in the UFC using DHEA. The absence of a positive test (He was only tested once by USADA) and the fact he had left the UFC four months prior resulted in USADA just rolling their eyes at him and moving on.

6.Abdul Karim Edilov

Current status: Suspension ended April 2017

meldonium-grindexThe first of a trio of Meldonium cases, Edilov would be suspended in February but it would be a full six months before his case was finalised. His camp claimed the positive was due to heart medication for atherosclerotic cardiosclerosis but things would drag on while WADA awaited the results of excretion analysis on the substance. Ultimately it was of little consequence as Edilov admitted to use after January 1st (The point when meldonium became prohibited) and he was suspended for 15 months, a 9 month reduction on the potential sentence as he was able to demonstrate he was taking it under medical guidance.

Tested during suspension? Tested December 2016 and February 2017

7.Tim Means

Current status: Suspension ended 2nd August 2016

Suspended by USADA on 3rd February, Tim was quickly to social media to express his shock, confirming the substances as Ostarine. Means quickly photographed all his supplements and sent them off to USADA and a short time later the culprit was discovered. The fairly innocuous looking “Hgh-X” was found to be at blame and Means received a reduced 6 month suspension as no prohibited substances were indicated on the label.

Tested during suspension? No.

Grab it while its hot!

8.Luis Felipe Olivieri

Current status: Suspended until (at least) March 2018

Informed in March of a positive for Methyl-testosterone from January (God bless those efficient people at the Rio de Janeiro laboratory), Olivieri remains in limbo awaiting a USADA decision. There had been question marks over the Rio lab (Its lost its accreditation multiple times in recent years), a route Olivieri went as his primary defence at tribunal claiming the Rio lab had contaminated his sample. The tribunal board didn’t buy it and he was suspended for 2 years.

As with the case of Brock Lesnar USADA made specific emphasis on their release that athletes must remain in the testing pool or their suspension is put on hold until they re-enter the pool suggesting that Olivieri has left the UFC testing pool. In March he was removed from the UFC website.

Tested during suspension? Tested July, August, September and December 2018

9.Frank Mir

Current status: Released from the UFC with 9 months of a 2 year suspension remaining


We have seen a rash of positives in 2016 for drug of choice in the former Soviet Block, Turinabol, several baseball players popped, and notably, in the retesting of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games samples, multiple positives  (64 of 136 positives in the Olympic testing are for Turinabol) leading to speculation that there was a new test for the drug (There is and more on this in a future blog). Add to the list of victims, Frank Mir who in April was informed of his positive and quickly took to podcasts, social media and interviews to spread the gospel of “Trace Metabolites”. Following stories of clenbuterol use in Mexican farming, Mir hit upon the idea of farmers down under using surplus East German steroids to bulk up their kangaroos and went with the tainted meat defence.

In April 2017 it was announced that Mir had received a 2 year suspension for multiple positives after they also retroactively tested a prior sample which too tested positive. In July 2017 it was revealed that Mir had been granted a release from the UFC. The remaining 9 months of his suspension is put on hold if he was to return.

In early 2019 following a rash of cases involving the M3 metabolite being dismissed by USADA, Mir stated he was considering legal action against USADA and the UFC.

Tested during suspension? Not tested during suspension.

> Further reading on Turinabol and the Frank Mir Case <

10.Viscarde Andrade

Current status: Suspended until at least March 2018

Suspended in April in relation to a pre-fight sample taken before his win over Richard Walsh in March (The ever efficient Rio lab doing its work again), information has been minimal on this case. Walsh claimed in a Facebook Q&A Session that the substances in question was Stanozolol. In March 2017 Andrade was suspended for 2 years retroactive to 20th March 2016, the day after his fight with Walsh. The result was overturned to a no contest. In May 2017 Andrade was released with 10 months remaining on his suspension.

Tested during suspension? Tested December 2016 (Released).

11. Lyoto Machida

Current status: Suspension ended October 2017

Things went awry for Lyoto Machida when he decided to write down 7-Keto DHEA as something he had been taking on his doping control form. Protestations followed including the claim that it had only been banned for a few months. USADA eventually suspended Machida for 18 months (he also tested positive for 7-Keto use) and Machida responded by claiming lack of education and information from USADA, something USADA later denied.

Tested during suspension? Tested December 2016, February, June and September 2017

12.Islam Makhachev

Current status: “Without fault or negligence” finding issued. 

Initial suspended for a meldonium positive in April 2016, Makhachev’s suspension was lifted in early July pending excretion study results from WADA. and on July 27th the fighter was cleared after USADA accepted that the levels of meldonium in his system were consistent with use prior to January 1st 2016, and in relation to approved medication for frequent ventricular arrhythmia.

13.Carlos Diego Ferreira

Current status: 1 year suspension from NSAC, 17 months from USADA. Can return in September 2018

The third of renowned manager Malki Kawa’s clients to fall foul of USADA, Ferreira tested positive for Ostarine at the end of April. First suspended for 1 year by Nevada Athletic Commission after he inexplicably turned at his hearing with no representation and barely speaking a word of English. Guess all the hot-shot lawyers are busy defending the ranked guys?

In December Ferreira was suspended for 17 months by USADA. It was revealed he tested positive for both Ostarine and produced a sample that was consistent with DHEA use. A supplement was found to be the culprit that listed one prohibited substance on the bottle (DHEA) and one unlisted substance (Ostarine). (The supplement is likely Ar1macare Pro – “Turning men into demi-gods” – which lists Androsta-3,5-diene-7,17-dione on the label).

Tested during suspension? Tested December 2016, February, May, August and September 2017

14.BJ Penn

Current status: Suspension ended 24th September 2016

021816-bj-penn-getty-6BJ Penn continued the now traditional behaviour of UFC fighters by voluntarily declaring a doping violation on his pre-fight questionnaire. On this occasion it was for use of IV which he claims he was unaware was prohibited. The IV of vitamins was allegedly administered on a medical road-trip, with Penn’s defence being confirmed as “100% accurate” by Jackson Wink doctor Beau Hightower (yes, thats a real name), despite him not actually being present when it was conducted. Penn was eventually slapped with a six month ban delaying his much anticipated comeback (already delayed by a false sexual assault accusation). Things didn’t improve much as his scheduled fight against Ricardo Lamas was abandoned when Penn suffered an injury in the run-up to the fight. He eventually returned to the cage against Yair Rodriguez in January 2017 with Rodriguez winning in dominant fashion.

Tested during suspension? Tested late-August 2016.

15.Chad Mendes

Current status: Suspension ended June 2018

After defeats at the hands of both Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes discovered that bad news does indeed come in three’s as he was suspended in early June after testing positive for GHRP-6 (Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide). Mendes would blame a skin cream for psoriasis for the positive despite GHRP-6 not being FDA approved in the US so consequently could not appear in a prescription cream. Mendes will be able to return in June 2018 after receiving a 2 year ban.

Tested during suspension? Tested September 2016, November 2016, March, May and July 2017, January and May 2018

16.Daniel Omielanczuk

Current Status: Found to be “Without fault or negligence”

The third of the meldonium cases, Omielanczuk was informed of a positive test in July 2016. Not suspended by USADA as they were following latest WADA guidelines while they awaited excretion study results. In February 2017 USADA issued a finding of no fault against Omielanczuk after he provided evidence of using the substance in August 2015 and levels being consistent with that.

17 & 37.Ricardo Abreu

Current Status: Suspended indefinitely. (Until at least 2021)

Provisionally suspended on 3rd July 2016 after testing positive for 19-norandrosterone and 19-noretiocholanolone, Abreu’s case was decided in record time as just three weeks later he was banned for two years. He would have been eligible to return in July 2018 however on 1st February 2017 it was announced that he tested positive again making it likely he will never be seen in an Octagon again. A few days later Abreu made that definite by announcing his retirement. In May 2017 it was announced that Abreu had been suspended for a further 4 years with the penalties on hold until such a time that he returned to the UFC. The subtance involved was once again 19-norandrosterone, the metabolite of Nandrolone.

Tested during suspension? Tested December 2016. 

18, 49 & 77. Jon Jones

Current Status: Suspended until October 2018. Previous suspension ended 5th July 2017

Three days before his scheduled light-heavyweight title bout against Daniel Cormier at UFC 200, Jon Jones world was rocked as it was announced he had tested positive in an out of competition test in late June. A tearful Jones appeared the next day flanked by manager Malki Kawa and a PR expert where he insisted he had never cheated and they were investigating how it happened. (Malki interestingly declined to send anyone on a one hour flight to witness the B-sample being analysed). Later that day Rashad Evans let the cat out of the bag declaring he (Jones) had tested positive for estrogen blockers, and a few weeks later at a Nevada Commission hearing it was confirmed he had tested positive for Letrozole and Hydroxy Clomiphene.

Jon takes a page from Marion Jones’s play-book

At that point the PR machine sprung into action, with people including UFC president Dana White insisting that things looked good for Jones. By late October with doping attorney Howard Jacobs now on board, and following an appearance by Jacobs on the Luke Thomas Show, the Jones team had everyone pretty much convinced that he was innocent, would walk free and USADA would in fact ban themselves for 12 months.

That wasn’t to be the case. The arbitration panel heard how a team-mate of Jones had purchased a number of “capsules” at some point (dates varied from testimony to testimony) from a website specifically dealing in prohibited substances (the capsules were marketed as “research capsules”) along with an order for clomiphene. On receiving the package he noted that the capsule packet stated “For research purposes only – not for human consumption” and at this point he still thought it was a good idea to give some to the (Interim) UFC Light Heavyweight Champion of the World to increase his performance in the bedroom.

Four batches of the capsules were analsyed by USADA, with all four containing varying amounts of clomiphene, letrozole and a third substances, tamoxifen, with the panel happily overlooking the lack of tamoxifen in Jones sample.

Despite a double-barrelled assault from USADA council William Bock III who accused the Jones team of multiple inaccuracies and calling their stories “contrived”, the arbitration panel nonetheless decided that Jones had not intentionally cheated, but still banned him for the maximum possible 1 year.

Jones still has the matter of a Nevada Athletic Commission hearing to negotiate, but if they are lenient, and if he can successfully keep out of trouble for 12 months (questionable), he could return to the Octagon in July 2017.

In December 2016 Nevada Athletic Commission accepted a settlement agreement from Jones’s team and replicated the USADA ban of one year.

In July 2017 at UFC 214, just three weeks after his ban ended, Jones returned to the Octagon beating the champion Daniel Cormier to regain the light-heavyweight title. Less than one month later it was announced that Jones had once more failed a drug test, this time on the eve of the fight. It was reported by TMZ that the drug in question was turinabol.

Protesting his innocence and blaming a tainted supplement that they have yet to locate, Jones was able to pass a lie detector test in December 2017 despite neither the UFC or USADA requesting one.

In February 2018 his case went before the California State Athletic Commision who while revoking his licence and issuing a $205,000 fine held short of suspending him leaving that instead to USADA.

Based on the evidence (or lack of) presented at the hearing it seemed almost certain that Jones will face a full 4 years from the US Anti Doping Agency.

In September is was revealed that Jones would only face a 15 month sanction after he received a 30 month reduction for his ongoing “substantial assistance” in identifying other anti doping violations.

In December 2018 Jones went before the CSAC commission who agreed to re-licensing him based on the available evidence. What they didn’t know was that Jones had produced more positive samples over the Autumn of 2018, again for the M3 metabolite. Dana White and Jeff Novitzky originally would state that all of Jones sample’s were negative bar a test conducted in early December before admitting day later that this wasn’t exactly accurate. Nevada Athletic Commission would refuse to license him in relation to his December 29th fight against Alexander Gustafsson, so two days before Christmas the UFC moved the entire event, lock, stock, and barrel to the neighbouring California.

Tested during suspension? Tested December 2016, February, April and May 2017 while on first suspension.  Tested October 2017, August and September 2018 while on second suspension .

19.Brock Lesnar

Current Status: NSAC Suspension ended July 2017, Suspended until January 2019 by USADA

brock-lesnar-ufcLesnar already the subject of controversy over reports of a 4 month waiver granted in regards a rule that probably didn’t apply to him anyway, went on to beat Mark Hunt at UFC200, picked up a $2.5m payday and promptly tested positive afterwards for clomiphene in both pre-fight and fight night tests.

Lesnar’s team brought in attorney Howard Jacobs, along with his medical sidekick Paul Scott who conducted analysis on Lesnar’s eye drops and foot cream in the hope of finding contamination. (Paul Scott you may remember found contamination in Anderson Silva’s “blue vial” but then forgot to take either lab reports or any information with him to the commission hearing – More on Howard and Paul in a future blog).

In December Nevada Athletic Commission accepted a plea deal of 1 year although its unclear from what point the NSAC suspension will run.

On January 4th 2017 he was officially suspended for 1 year by USADA. In the USADA release they specifically stated that if an athlete leaves the testing pool then their sanction is mothballed until such a time as they return. If as is assumed Lesnar has left the UFC and the testing pool then he must serve out his sentence on his return. In February 2017 Lesnar’s profile was removed from confirming he had left the company.

A few days later it was confirmed by USADA that he had indeed left the testing pool after informing both the UFC and USADA of his retirement

In July 2018 it was announced that Lesnar had returned to the testing pool and also revealed that he had a little over 6 months remaining on his suspension which will now expire in January 2019.

Tested during suspension? Tested July and October 2018

20.Francisco Rivera

Current Status: Suspended until (At least) August 2020 

Suspended since August 2016 Rivera revealed the substance as being clenbuterol and claims that it was as a result of eating tainted meat while in Mexico. Francisco had put forward that his USADA wherabouts details would show him as being in Mexico along with travel documents.

Rivera would provide USADA with bank statements showing fuel purchases made in Mexico during a trip for a family bbq as well as affidavits from family and in fact a receipt for the very meat served at the function


Unfortunately it was all fake. He had not been to Mexico, the bank statement was falsified, he did not even know the people providing him with affidavits and the receipt was from a Costco 1500 miles from the imaginary party and didnt even have any meat listed on it.



He was hit with a four year ban from USADA as they used the “Aggravated circumstances” clause to hit with both barrels. Rivera will be eligible to return in August 2020

Tested during suspension? Not tested so far during suspension.

21.Emil Weber Meek

Current Status: Served four month “probation”

Meek’s rise from everyday jock to man mountain has been well documented by him personally on Norwegian body building forums so it was perhaps no surprise that he drew USADA’s attention, although not many would have expected it to be before he was even tested. Nobody knows quite what Emil told USADA in his initial meeting with them but it was enough for them to insist he undergo a four month testing period before being allowed to compete.

Meek would appear on the MMA Hour telling Ariel Helwani that he was prevented fighting after admitting to using “asthma medication, cortisone and having an IV” before releasing a statement the following day saying that he had “mistakenly mischaracterized” the nature of the substances in his appearance on the show.

22 & 36.George Sullivan

Current Status: Second suspension ended January 2018

Initially pulled from UFC on Fox on 21st July for a “potential compliance issue”, Sullivan was formaly suspended on 24th August 2016. Three months later it was revealed that he had accepted a 12 month ban for the use of  IGF-1 administered via “Deer antler spray”. The ban was backdated to January 31st, the day after his final UFC bout.

In March 2017 Sullivan would state that his positive was caused by a supplement that didn’t list IGF-1 on the ingredients and he had know was of knowing it contained IGF-1

So the worst part about last year’s suspension was, the thing I was suspended for was not on the bottle label, it was not on the ingredients. So when they tested a supplement I was on, it tested positive for unlabeled residue of something which I can’t say because we’re gonna be going to court but basically I was screwed over. I never took anything willingly knowing I was taking an illegal supplement. That’s what hurt me the most was everyone was like ‘Awh, he took it.’ I didn’t even know it was in the bottle.

Helpfully USADA added the substance he took to the “High risk List”



Fair do’s George. How could you possibly know a $200 supplement called “IGF-1 Plus Super Max” contained IGF-1?


On 26th January 2017, five days before his suspension was due to end, Sullivan was once more suspended for testing positive and pulled from his fight at UFC 208. Sullivan would post on facebook later in the day that it was due to a “fertility treatment”

Hey guys it’s a misunderstanding about a fertility pill I started taking [three] weeks ago to try and have a baby. [Dr.] Morgan is sending in all of his paper work tomorrow to clear this up,” he wrote. “I’m sad that it came to this. My [doctor] and I are shocked, and we will clear this up. I have all the documents to prove it. I love my wife and starting a family is everything to us ! God bless.”

He later confirmed that the substance involved was Clomiphine (leaving him facing  a 2 year ban as a result of a second violation) and that he had applied for a retroactive TUE.

In June of 2017 USADA suspended him for a further year. The rTUE was declined on the basis that clomiphine is not FDA approved as a treatment method for males.

Tested during suspension? Tested December 2016, January, June and October 2017 and January 2018.

23 and 24.Guangyou Ning & Li Jingliang

Current Status: Both found to bear “No fault or negligence”

The two Chinese fighters tested positive for clenbuterol, but in both cases it was found to be in levels consistent with contamination from meat (Clenbuterol is commonly used in meat production in China).

25.Adam Hunter

Current Status: Banned by BCAF until 25th August 2018, indefinite ban from UFC by USADA.

Hunter got as far as the weigh-in’s before being pulled from the card for multiple violations.

Its the moment every mixed martial artist dreams of, you get the call to join the UFC. You read the contract, you agree and understand that you will be drug tested, and then the day before the fight you get pulled from the card for testing positive for no fewer than FIVE different banned substances (Tamoxifen, Drostanolone, Clenbuterol, Boldenone, Methandienone). It was no surprise when Hunter was banned for 2 years by both USADA and BCAF. It was even less of a surprise when in Febriuary 2017 his profile was removed from effectively ending any slim chance of a return to the “big-show”.

In August 2018 Hunter would claim that his positive test was a result of taking therapeutic testosterone 2 months earlier. Ok Adam…

The following month he would once more be in trouble with USADA for competing while suspended, but avoided further sanction.

Tested during suspension? Not tested during suspension.

26.Augusto Montano

Current Status: Found to bear “No fault or negligence”

Tested positive for clenbuterol but levels found to be consistent with contamination and judged to bear no fault or negligence.

27 & 83.Ruslan Magomedov

Current Status: Suspended for life by USADA

Tested positive in relation to a sample collected on 7th September 2016.  Magomedov in February told Russian media that the substance involved was Ostarine (Also the case with Tukhugov) and that it came via a supplement he used to boost his testosterone.


Both Magomedov and his compatriot Tukhugov chose to go to arbitration arguing that a supplement was to fault. USADA rejected the defence and the arbitration was concluded early with both athletes choosing to accept an offer of a 2 year suspension.

His suspension ended in September 2018 with his manager claiming he would return to the octagon in November. That never happened. As it turned out he had tested positive again in the October for Methyltestosterone and Stanzolol, before then refusing to provide a sample in February 2019 leading to his second and third violations.

Tested during suspension? Tested May and October 2018.

28 (& 105). Nate Diaz

Current Status: Accepted a public warning

Following admission that he “vaped a cbd pen” in the UFC202 post fight press-conference, Diaz was issued with and accepted a public warning in relation to his “violation”.

29. Lyman Good

Current Status: Suspension ended April 23rd 2017

Tested positive in relation to a sample collected on 14th October. The welterweight has denied taking any performance enhancing substances stating he “would never take shortcuts“.

“I’m too much in love with the pain of training hard since it’s the only thing that separates a real winner from a loser, I would never take shortcuts to get around it especially when you learn the most from a journey of sacrifice and hard work.”

In April of 2017 it was announced that Good was suspended for 6 months retroactive to 24th October 2016. The substance was named as 1-androstenedione with a contaminated supplement found to be at fault.

Screenshot from 2017-09-16 19-47-17

At the same time a supplement from notorious supplement company Gaspari Nutrition was added to the USADA high-risk list. Batch testing of a particular batch had showed the presence of 1-androstenedione.

In October 2017 Good commenced legal proceedings against Gaspari Nutrition.

Tested during suspension? Tested April 2017

30.Guido Cannetti

Current Status: Suspension ended July 2017

Screenshot - 19_08_2017 , 12_09_39Originally suspended in relation to a positive test arising from a sample collected on 5th October. On August 18th 2017 it was announced that he had tested positive for no fewer than four substances (ostarine, the stanozolol metabolites 16β-hydroxystanozolol and 4β-hydroxystanozolol, as well as hydrochlorothiazide and chlorothiazide), but a contaminated supplement “Cyborg 10,000” was found to be at fault (Which he had declared on his doping control form) and he received a ten month suspension which ended a month earlier in July 2017.

Tested during suspension? Not tested so far during suspension.

31.Matheus Nicolau Pereira

Current Status: Suspended until November 2017

Tested positive in relation to a sample collected on 13th October. In March 2017 the substance was revealed as anastrozole and Pereira was suspended for one year retroactive to October 2016.

Tested during suspension? Tested June and July 2017

32.Tom Lawlor

Current Status: Suspended until October 2018

Tested positive in relation to a sample collected on 10th October. Confirmed by Lawlor to be Ostarine. It was announced in February that Lawlor had been suspended for two years commencing 10th October 2016.  In August 2018 Lawlor was released by the UFC.

Tested during suspension? Tested late April/Early May and September 2017 and June 2018.

33.Zubaira Tukhugov

Current Status: Suspension ended September 2018

Tested positive in relation to a samples collected on 7th September and 29th October. Co-incidentally, the second AKA fighter to test positive, and in fact tests positive in regards a sample collected on exactly the same day as one from his team-mate Ruslan Magomedov. Magomedov in February told Russian media that the substance involved was Ostarine.

In February 2018 both Tukhugov and teammate Magomedov were suspended for 2 years by USADA.

Tested during suspension? Tested March, June and September 2018.

34.Cristiane Justino

Current Status: Retroactive TUE granted and cleared of violation

It was announced by USADA on 22nd December that Cris “Cyborg” Justino had failed an out of competition test on 5th December of the same year.

Cyborg is one of the more tested athletes in the USADA program but this was in fact her first test in 2016 collected without a fight being scheduled.

Later that day Cris’s boyfriend Ray Elbe posted on “The Underground” that it was a substance she had on prescription to treat the effects of a weight cut in her previous fight. It was later revealed the substance was spironolactone a diuretic.

On February 17th 2017 her suspension was lifted and a retroactive therapeutic use exemption issued. USADA then officially cleared Justino of any violation.

Tested during suspension? Not tested  during suspension.

35 .Josh Barnett

Current Status: Given formal warning

On 27th December it was announced that Josh Barnett was the next victim of the USADA era. Already having tested positive in 2001, 2002 and 2010, Josh then failed an out of competition collection from 9th December. No substance has yet been revealed but in June he would claim on the Joe Rogan show that a tainted supplement was the cause of his positive.


After establishing the source of the positive Barnett was offered a 18 month suspension by USADA which  he declined citing lack of trust for USADA and instead opted for arbitration which took place in March 2018.

At Arbitration the panel found that Barnett – who had in fact retired and left the testing pool prior to being informed of his positive test – had acted diligently in researching both his supplements and the ingredients in them and he was given a formal warning with no suspensionformal warning with no suspension.

The fact however that he left the testing pool shortly after his sample was collected, means that in the unlikely event that he wishes to return to the UFC he will have to complete the statutory 6 month testing period

Tested during suspension? Left the testing pool prior to being informed of potential violation.

38. Justin Ledet

Current Status: Suspension ended May 30th 2017

Continuing a recent theme of fighters withdrawing from fights due to injury and then days later it being announced they have tested positive, Justin Ledet withdrew from his fight against Dmitry Sosnovskiy (26th January)and consequently tested positive.  USADA informing the world of his “potential violation” on February 1st as a result of a sample collection on January 12th.

On April 5th, the day after Lyman Good’s suspension was announced it was reported that Ledet had tested positive for the same substance, 1-androstenedione as well as 5α-androst-1-ene-3α-ol-17-one, a metabolite of 1-testosterone. And again a tainted supplement was found to be responsible. Ledet received a four month suspension from 1st February and was eligible to return on June 1st 2017.

Notable was USADA’s reporting that he had “declared the supplement on his sample collection paperwork” perhaps explaining the lesser sentence in comparison to other contamination cases.


The day before a supplement “Anavite” was added to the USADA high risk list which in testing showed to be contaminated with 1-androstenedione. Good stated in interview with Luke Thomas that the supplement in question was a “multivitamin”

Tested during suspension? Tested April 2017.

39. Gian Villante

Current Status: Retroactive TUE issued for asthma medication

On February 24th it was announced that Gian Villante had tested positive for vilanterol, but that a retroactive tue had been issued as a result of him using an asthma inhaler “Breo Ellipta”.

40. Ben Rothwell

Current Status: Suspended until February 2019

On 7th March it was announced that Ben Rothwell had become the 8th Heavyweight to run into difficulties with USADA. Testing positive in a sample collected on 6th February 2017 Rothwell quickly put out a statement on facebook blaming prescribed medication.

With the recent news received from USADA, I would like to take this time to let everyone know I have been under the care of a physician and trying to overcome a medical illness.

 I would appreciate the chance to show that I have not cheated nor did I intend to cheat. Please hold your opinions of me until all the facts are out. I appreciate everyone’s support as I go through the process with USADA

Interestingly, just a few hours earlier USADA had tweeted a reminder to athletes to check their “compounded medications”…

While this not be related it is often known for USADA’s tweets to be timely and relevant to ongoing cases. Rothwell who was previously suspended by the UFC in 2014 for elevated testosterone will however avoid that being counted against him as the new rules do not come into force until April 1st.

In April 2018 it was revealed that the substance again, was testosterone, and with no TUE being applicable he was suspended for two years.

Tested during suspension? Tested April, August and November 2018.

41. Kelvin Gastelum

Current Status: Suspensions from CABMMA and USADA ended June 2017

On 6th March a UFC statement was released detailing Kelvin Gastelum’s provisional suspension after he tested positive for cannabis (over the notification threshold/decision limit of 180ng/ml) from an in competition sample collected on the evening of his win over Vitor Belfort. His forthcoming bout against Anderson Silva at UFC212 was cancelled as a result.  On 7th May it was announced that Gastelum had been suspended for 90 days by CABMMA (Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA ) and his match against Vitor Belfort changed to a no-contest. A few days later it was announced by USADA that they too had suspended him for 3 months, reduced from 6 months for completing a drug awareness course.

Tested during suspension? Not tested during suspension.

42 & 112. Jessica Penne

Current Status: Suspension ended October 23rd 2018


On 10th May it was announced that Jessica Penne had tested positive for an unnamed substance following retroactive testing on a sample from March 2017. The athlete biologic passport which constantly markers key steroidal and haematological markers in athletes samples flagged discrepancies in her urine profile which led to targeted analysis of prior samples.

More on the  Biological Passport in this piece.

In January 2018 it was announced that Penne had received a reduced sentence of 18 months. A reduction was given as she had taken DHEA on the advice of her doctor.

In April 2019 Penne once more tested positive this time for stanozolol.

Tested during suspension? Tested February, May, August and October 2018.

43. Ian McCall

Current Status: Retroactive TUE issued for IV use

On June 9th it was announced that Ian McCall had a retroactive tue issued in respect of an IV administered on Doctors advice ahead of his then cancelled fight in February.

44. Amanda Ribas

Current Status: Suspended until June 2019 by USADA

On 15th June it was announced that Amanda Ribas had become the second successive strawweight to fall foul of USADA. Its unclear from the UFC statement if she is suspended but she was pulled from the upcoming TUF Finale card in July. On June 26th she was put on provisional suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission and the substance revealed as Ostarine.

In January 2018 it was announced by USADA that she would serve a 2 year suspension ending in the summer of 2019.

In May 2019 USADA announced the reduction of her suspension and allowed her to return to action based on their “recognition of the demonstrated prevalence of ostarine in a wide range of supplements”

Tested during suspension? Tested May,  September and December 2018, March 2019

45. Nick Diaz

Current status: 1 year suspension ended April 2018

It was only a matter of time before someone tripped the “three strikes and you’re out” system on whereabouts violations, and it probably should not have been any surprise whatsoever when we learnt that the first victim was Nick Diaz. In April 2018 it was released that Diaz had been suspended for 1 year retroactive to April 2017.

Tested during suspension? Tested January 2018.

46. Marcos Rogerio de Lima

Current status: Suspension ended February 2018

On 11th August it was announced that Marcos Rogerio de Lima had been provisionally suspended following the provision of a positive sample in early August. He was as a result pulled from the upcoming Fight Night Rotterdam card against Saparbek Safarov.

In April 2018 it was announced he had been suspended for 6 months by USADA following an investigation into compounding pharmacies in Brazil which let to him testing positive from a contaminated supplement.

Tested during suspension? Not tested so far during suspension.

47. Nick Roehrick

Current status: Suspension ended August 2018

One month after his UFC debut on the Ultimate Fighter Finale (A KO loss to Jarred Cannonier) things got worse for Roehrick as he became the latest fighter to be flagged by USADA.  Just over a month later it was announced that he had been suspended for one year having tested positive for clomiphene.

Tested during suspension? Tested November 2017, February and April 2018.

48. Junior Dos Santos

Current status: Suspension ended February 2018

Hot on the heals of Roehrick it was announced the next day that former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos had been provisionally suspended following a positive test. Three weeks out from his match at UFC 215 its fair to say his opponent was not impressed.

The day after the announcement it was confirmed by Dos Santos’s management that the substance in question was a diuretic, Hydrochlorothiazide.

In April 2018 it was announced he had been suspended for 6 months by USADA following an investigation into compounding pharmacies in Brazil which let to him testing positive from a contaminated supplement.

Tested during suspension? Not tested so far during suspension.

50. Jesse Taylor

Current status: Suspension ended September 2018

On September 13th it was announced that two time Ultimate Fighter veteran Jesse Taylor had failed an anti doping control from August 22nd and was pulled from his upcoming fight against Belal Muhammad. On 13th October ist was announced that he had been suspended for one year after testing positive for Clomiphene. In October 2018 after his suspension had completed Taylor was released by the UFC.

Tested during suspension? Tested June and August 2018.

51. Carlos Felipe

Current status: Suspension ended January 2020

Due to make his UFC debut on the Sao Paolo card in October against Christian Colombo, Felipe failed to negotiate his opening USADA visit testing positive at the first attempt. In October it was announced he had been suspended for two years after a positive test for stanozolol. In November he was released by the UFC.

Two years later in July of 2019 Felipe returned to the testing pool. Despite not spending his suspension in the testing pool per USADA requirements his management would claim he only had to serve a six month return to pool period.

Tested during suspension? Tested July 2019.

52. Azamat Murzakano

Current status: Suspension ended September 2019

Continuing the run of fighters testing positive before even making their debuts, Light Heavyweight prospect Azamat Murzakanov became the latest victim. Originally due to make his debut in June it was delayed due to injury. In April 2019 the Russian was suspended for two years, the substance in question, the horse steroid, Boldenone

Tested during suspension? Not tested so far during suspension.

53. Andrea Lee

Current status: Eligible to compete late March/early April 2018

On the evening of September 27th it was announced that Legacy flyweight champion and 125lb standout Andrea Lee would be making her UFC debut on short notice at UFC 216.

The debut didn’t last long. By the following afternoon it was revealed that Lee would not be making her debut and would need to sit in the USADA testing pool for a full six months prior to competing due to a positive test for a diuretic in 2016.

She would make her debut debut in the spring of 2018

Tested during probationary period? Tested December 2017 and February 2018.

54. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Current status: Suspension ended April 2018

On October 19th it was announced that “Little Nog” had been provisionally suspended by USADA and pulled from his upcoming fight against Jared Cannonier in December. The substance was reported to be Hydrochlorothiazide.

In April 2018 it was announced he had been suspended for 6 months by USADA following an investigation into compounding pharmacies in Brazil which let to him testing positive from a contaminated supplement.

Tested during suspension? Tested February 2018.

55. Brandon Moreno

Current status: Found without fault or negligence

On November 1st it was announced that Brandon Moreno had tested positive for Clenbuterol and had been found by USADA to be without fault or negligence. Clenbuterol is widely used in farming in Mexico where Moreno is largely resident and the low amount detected coupled with whereabouts findings showing where he was located and negative tests both prior and after the positive test, led USADA to conclude that accidental contamination via food was the cause.

56. Jim Wallhead

Current status: Suspension ended August 2018

0-2 in the UFC, having recently pulled out of his UFC Gdansk fight against Warlley Alves things got a little worse for the Englishman when it was announced that he had tested positive in an out of competition sample collection on October 7th. Provisionally suspended since November 1st it was confirmed the next day the substance in question was Ostarine

Screenshot from 2017-11-03 22-18-51.png

In February 2018 it was announced that Wallhead had received a reduced suspension of 9 months due to consuming a supplement with no prohibited substances indicated on the label.


Tested during suspension? Tested March 2018. Released by the UFC at the end of July 2018.

57. Ion Cutelaba

Current status: Suspension ended May 2018

On the even of his UFC 217 fight against Michal Oleksiejczuk it was announced that Cutelaba had been provisionally suspended in relation to declarations made on his doping control form on both 18th and 19th October.

Screenshot from 2017-11-04 00-29-42

Later that day it was revealed that Cutelaba had self declared on his doping control form having undergone Ozone therapy.  He received from his doctor an intravenous treatment putting him in violation of the IV  policy as well as potentially a “blood manipulation” charge.

In March it was announced that Cutelaba would serve a six month suspension.

Tested during suspension? Tested March 2018.

57. Azunna Anyanwu

Current status: Suspended until October 2018

No sooner had the UFC announced the suspension of Ion Cutelaba then it was announced that heavyweight Azunna Anyanwu had become the 20th American to test positive under the program. In turn Anyanwu became the 8th fighter to fail their very first USADA test. In March 2018 it was announced he was suspended for 1 year after testing positive for the diuretic furosemide.

In August 2018 Anyanwu was released with two months remaining on his suspension.

Tested during suspension? Tested May 2018

58. Grant Dawson

Current status: Cleared in December 2018

On 10th November it was announced that Grant Dawson had failed  an out of competition test on October 16th. The “Dana Whites Tuesday Night Contender Series” alumni didnt even make it to the cage.

In December 2018 Dawson was cleared on the “likelihood that the ingestion of the prohibited substance occurred prior to Grant coming under the UFC Anti-Doping Program.” In conversation with Joe Rogan, UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky confirmed that the positive was for the long term turinabol metabolite M3 and that USADA had withdrawn their charges as it began arbitration.

Dawson who had initially been released was re-signed by the UFC in early 2019 and made his much delayed debut that March against Julian Erosa picking up a decision victory.

Tested during suspension? Tested January 2018.

59. Anderson Silva

Current status: Suspended until November 2018

No sooner had the ink dried on the Dawson reports it was announced that Anderson Silva had failed a test on the 26th October and was pulled from the headline spot of the upcoming China card. Silva with a prior violation in 2015 was potentially facing 2 to 4 years on the sidelines.

In January Silva declared that he had never taken steroids, before a few days later it was revealed that his positive test was for both synthetic testosterone and an unnamed diuretic.

Silva’s team while expecting a suspension are attempting to argue that his prior violation should not count against him in this instance.

In July 2018 it was announced that Silva was the victim of a contaminated supplement purchased at a Brazilian compounding Pharmacy. He was suspended for one year, the suspension doubled from six months as it was his second doping violation.

Tested during suspension? Tested June, July and August 2018.

60. James Mulheron

Current status: Suspension ends November 2018

Another week, another heavyweight. James Mulheron became the 12th fighter from the UFC’s heaviest division to fall foul of USADA. His “potential violation” announced on 18th November along with his subsequent removal from the Chinese card later in the month. In January it was announced that he had been suspended for one year after a positive test for Clomiphene. He was later released.

Tested during suspension? Tested February and May 2018.

61. Amanda Lemos

Current status: Suspended until November 2019

On 30th November it was announced that the recently signed Brazilian had become the 9th victim of “first test syndrome” failing her very first USADA test in early November. Lemos made her UFC debut, fighting for the first time outside her native Brazil and losing to Leslie Smith.

In March it was announced that she had been suspended for 2 years after testing positive for Stanozolol and its metabolites.

Tested during suspension? Tested June, August and December 2018, March and May 2019

62. Carls John de Tomas

Current status: Released by the UFC, suspended till December 2018 by both USADA and California State Athletic Commission

You have lost your last two fights, you are 0-2 in the UFC and get cut, what else can possibly go wrong. Well as it turns out, you can also test positive in relation to your last loss and be facing suspensions from both USADA who conducted the test, and California Athletic Commission. Merry Christmas Carls John de Thomas.

In February 2018 it was announced that he had been suspended for 1 year by both USADA and California. The substance was named as a diuretic, forosomide.

Tested during suspension? No tested so far during suspension

63. Cynthia Calvillo

Current status: Suspended by USADA till at least May 2018, by Nevada Athletic Commission till October 2018

If losing her unbeaten UFC record, and post fight histrionics weren’t enough, strawweight Cynthia Calvillo completed the set when she managed to go over USADA’s 180 ng/ml notification threshold for THC. Suspended by USADA her bigger problem may be the Nevada Athletic Commission who aren’t exactly known to go easy on cannabis offenders.

In March USADA announced that she would serve a six month suspension, reduced to three months if she completes a drug awareness course.  A week later the Nevada Athletic Commission suspended her for 9 months making her eligible to return in October 2018.

Tested during suspension? Tested January, March, May and August 2018

64.Michal Oleksiejczuk

Current status: Suspended by USADA and Nevada Athletic Commission till January 2019

On January 25th 2018 it was announced that Polish Light-Heavyweight newcomer Michal Oleksiejczuk had become the 10th fighter to fail their very first USADA test. A decision win on his debut over Khalil Roundtree at UFC 219 would be reversed as he tested positive on a fight night sample.

In February he told MMANews.PL that the positive was as a result of a medication he had taken 8 months prior to joining the UFC. In early March the substance was revealed as clomiphine – quashing any “a medication I took 8 months earlier” claims – as he was suspended for one year by the Nevada Commission. In June USADA also announced a one year suspension for the Polish fighter.

Tested during suspension? Tested September and December 2018

65.  Polo Reyes

Current status: Suspension ended September 2018

On March 15th it was announced that “Marko” Polo Reyes was the first violation of 2018 in respect of an out of competition sample collected earlier in the month. In October he received a six month sanction, reduced as his ostarine positive was a result of a contaminated supplement with USADA determining that he had failed to properly research the supplement or the supplier.

Tested during suspension? Tested September 2018

66.  Augusto Mendes

Current status: Suspension ended late 2018

On March 20th it was announced that Augusto Mendes had been provisionally suspended in respect of an out of competition sample collected earlier in the month. The following day in interview he stated his innocence but did not disclose the substance in question.

In June it was announced that he had signed with Absolute Championship Berkut after apparently receiving his UFC release despite still being under provisional suspension.

In April it was announced that Mendes along with three other fighters had received a 6 month suspension for Ostarine.

Tested during suspension? No tested so far during suspension

67 & 113.  Fabricio Werdum

Current status: Suspension ends April 2020

On May 22nd it was announced that former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum had failed an out of competition test conducted on April 25th.

Werdum protested his innocence with his manager Ali Abdel Aziz claiming it was a misunderstanding. In September he was suspended for 2 years with the substance being revealed as the steroid Trenbolone.

A full year after his suspension had started Werdum had strangely not been tested by USADA. In May of 2019 the reason became clear when his manager Ali Abdel Aziz confirmed that he had in fact left the testing pool and was intending to re-enter the pool later that month. Depending on how long he spent out of the pool this could see his suspension run up to mid 20121.

In July of 2019 he returned to the testing pool providing two samples to USADA, and it was confirmed by USADA that his suspension had been extended to February 2021.

In January 2020 Werdum’s sanction was reduced by 10 months for his “substantial assistance” to USADA in identifying other doping violation(s).

Tested during suspension? Tested July 2019

68.  Bradley Scott

Current status: Suspended until July 2020

In late May Brad Scott fought on the UFC Liverpool card losing a split decision to late notice replacement Carlo Pedersoli to drop to 1-3 in his last four fights. In July it got a little worse for him when it was revealed his fight night drug test was positive. In October he was suspended for 2 years as a result of his positive test for cocaine metabolites.

Tested during suspension? No tested so far during suspension

69.  Muslim Salikhov

Current status: Suspended from July 2018 to March 2019

In July it was announced Muslim Salikhov had tested positive as a result of a sample collected in June of the same year. 10 months later in March 2019 it was revealed that he had tested positive for the long term Metabolite M3 and because USADA could not prove that it had entered his system after entering the program the case against him was dropped.

Tested during suspension? Tested February 2019

70, 93 & 111.  Sean O’Malley

Current status: USADA suspension ended February 2019. Suspended by NSAC until March 2019. 

In late September it was announced by the UFC that they would no longer make public potential violations but instead – in line with the majority of WADA signatory sports – would wait until final decision had been rendered.

Two days later, up and coming bantamweight Sean O’Malley decided to make public his own potential violation claiming that he believed a supplement was responsible.

In November O’Malley was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission for six months. In April it was announced that O’Malley along with three other fighters had received a 6 month suspension for Ostarine.

In June of 2019 O’Malley was once again pulled from a card, this time UFC 239 after traces of Ostarine were found in further samples. With USADA accepting that in all likelihood it was residual from his prior positive, he was withdrawn nonetheless after Nevada Athletic Commission declined to licence him without first holding a hearing.

In January 2020 it was announced that O’Malley had once more, tested positive for Ostarine and was sanctioned for 6 months.

Tested during suspension? Tested March 2019

71.  Maria Romero Borella

Current status: Cleared to compete by USADA

In September 2018 it was reported that Italian flyweight Mara Borella had been suspended for no less than 15 years by NADO Italia in relation to drug trafficking offences, and then increased by a further 15 years after she competed while suspended.

In October after full review USADA announced that she would continue to be eligible to compete in the UFC.

“Following our review, we have determined and then subsequently informed the UFC that Maria Borella is eligible to compete in UFC events because the violation that resulted in her ban by the Italian national anti-doping agency (NADO) is not a recognized offense under the UFC Anti-Doping Program. She was sanctioned by the Italian NADO for her involvement in trafficking street drugs – marijuana and cocaine (prohibited in-competition only) – with no intent to enhance performance.

The UFC ADP does not consider this a violation because the activity was unrelated to performance enhancement. As such, Ms. Borella remains eligible to compete in UFC events.”

72.  Marvin Vettori

Current status: Suspension ended Spring 2019

In October Italian Marvin Vettori publicly announced his own positive test (in August) for Ostarine, claiming that he was confident a contaminated supplement was the cause. No statement from the UFC in line with their new policy.


In April 2019 it was announced that Vettori along with three other fighters had received a 6 month suspension for Ostarine.

Tested during suspension? Not yet tested while under suspension

73.  Walker de Souza

Current status: free to fight

In November it was revealed in the media that Walker de Souza (better known as Johnny Walker) had the previous April inadvertently revealed on his instagram a prohibited substance.


Among the products apparently provided to him by the “vitamin shop” in Aberdeen, Scotland was MK-677, otherwise known as Ibutamoren.  Because it happened prior to joining the UFC, and there is no indication that he then took the substance there is unlikely to be any fallout. Had he declared his use to USADA when joining the UFC he would have been required to sit in the testing pool for a six month period prior to competing.

74.  Brock Lesnar’s missing test

Current status: “technical glitch”

After spending the later part of 2018 sitting on 6 samples (per the USADA testing database) interest was aroused when Brock Lesnar’s sample count suddenly decreased to five.

USADA would blame a “technical issue”.

75.  Bharat Kandare

Current status: Suspended until November 2020

Kandare, the first Indian fighter to compete in the UFC had been scheduled to fight Wuliji Buren in August of 2018. After pulling out of the fight injured it was revealed that he had in fact tested positive for boldenone and tamoxifen in a sample collected in late July. He will be eligible to return in November 2010 after the suspension was dated from the date of his provisional suspension.

Tested during suspension? Tested March 2019

76.  Stefan Sekulic

Current status: Suspended until October 2020

In 2017 no fewer than seven new signings to the UFC managed to test positive at the very first attempt. It was something the UFC hoped they had managed to get a grip on until Stefan Sekulic managed to test positive in a fight night sample on his debut. A late notice replacement on the Moscow card in September, Sekulic clearly forgot to tell the booking team that he had been taking both drostanolone and metandienone and consequently tested positive for both. He will be suspended until late 2020

Tested during suspension? Tested December 2018, March and May 2019

78.  Jennifer Maia

Current status: Suspension ended February 2019

dw-klmbx4ampfqyIn January USADA announced that flyweight Jennifer Maia had accepted a 6 month suspension following a positive test for three diuretics. A supplement was found to be responsible which crucially had been written on her doping control form. The case continued to highlight however the UFC’s apparently failing in educating newly signed athletes as the number failing one of their first test headed into double figures. Interestingly in her second fight back after completing her suspension she would miss weight by 3lbs.

Tested during suspension? Tested November 2018

79.  Jake Collier

Current status: Suspended until October 2019

ImageA month later it was announced that Jake Collier had also fallen foul of a supplement and was being suspended for 10 months.

The substance on this occasion, Higenamine,  was listed on the ingredients of the supplement he took, but he failed to check. He did at least list it on his doping control form which got him a 2 month reduction.

Tested during suspension? Tested January and March 2019

80.  Khalid Murtazaliev

Current status: Suspended until October 2020

In September 2018 Murtazaliev made his UFC debut on short notice picking up a win over CB Dolloway with a beat-down that referee Herb Dean inexcusably left to continue far too long.

One month later the Russian would fail his first USADA test (He was not tested prior to the fight, nor on fight night) popping for Drostanolone. A further test in December would also be positive for the steroid. The result, for now, still stands.

Tested during suspension? Tested January 2019

81.  Paulo Costa

Current status: Suspension ended February 2019

In October 2018 video footage surfaced of Brazilian Paulo Henrique Costa allegedly receiving an IV infusion prior to his fight against Johnny Hendricks the previous year.

In March the plot thickened as Yoel Romero appeared on the Ariel Helwani show and claimed his on/off fight with Costa was now off as the Brazilian had tested positive.

Later in the day Costa appeared to confirm the potential violation without giving further details, before his manager would then state there was no positive test.

In April, Costa told Globo that he had been investigated for the use of Metoclopramide (Plasil) to treat stomach problems. Plasil when administered by IV is used in hospitals to flush the bowels prior to medical procedures. Two days later it was revealed that Costa had been fined by the New York Athletic Commission – who held jurisdiction over his bout with Johnny Hendricks – a total of $9333 for an “undisclosed violation”.

A week later in April, Costa along with his trainer Carlos Costa both received 6 months suspensions for the use and administration of IV’s before both UFC 212 and UFC 217.

Interestingly Costa had admitted the IV use to USADA the previous August after USADA got hold of the video evidence, co-incidentally around the time that Jon Jones was hammering out his reduction in suspension for “Substantial assistance”.

The reason Costa himself only got 6 months? He too provided “substantial assistance” to USADA…

Tested during suspension? Tested August, September and November 2018, March 2019.

82.  TJ Dillashaw

Current status: 1 year New York State Athletic Commission suspension, Suspended by USADA until January 2021


January 2019, shortly before his champion v champion bout with Henry Cejudo bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw was photographed with a veritable cornucopia of supplements none of which it appeared to be  –  despite constant reminders from the UFC and USADA  – third party certified.

Two months later it was announced that Dillashaw had tested positive in relation to the bout, and while no substance has yet been specified, was being suspended for 1 year by the New York Athletic Commission.

As it turned out, supplements were not to blame. Dillashaw was suspended by USADA in April 2019 for two years after a positive test for Epo.

Epo in 2019… Remember this?

Usada would also take the opportunity to retroactively test an older sample from December 28th 2018. That also test positive for EPO leaving Dillashaw facing a 4 year ban under the “aggravating circumstances” clause. A penalty avoided by TJ’s “Prompt admission”.

Sam Calavitta, TJ Dillashaw’s nutritionist/strength and conditioning coach the following day issued one of the most bizarre (and nonsensical) statements ever:

It is with a heavy heart that I, Coach Cal, the owner, founder, and purveyor of The reigning Lab, have recently seen the defeat of one of our family members in recent months. This defeat is not due to the skills and combat savvy of an opponent of flesh, but rather a defeat at the perilous hands of a far more sinister foe; the demon of self doubt which haunts each and everyone of us at one time or another in our lives.

As a man of few words, preferring passion and belief as a shield to be carried out upon, I am bemused to careless and reckless dialog for no other purpose than to make myself head among the masses plagued by willful ignorance. However, there is an appropriate, and even required time for the head of a family to speak out. And, this is such a time.

The Treigning Lab in no way condones or encourages our family of athletes, worldwide, to partake in the perilous downward spiraling helix of synthetic performance enhancement. To do so is not only harmful to the individual but also harmful to the brothers, sisters, and other family members who are judged guilty by association. Yet the arena of public scrutiny is heavily weighted down with the enigma of fear for what it does not understand. To that end, the fact remains that The Treigning Lab, in concept and private practice established itself among Olympic and collegiate wrestlers in the year 2001 and has embarked on the life changing journey through sport with thousands of athletes spanning almost two decades of unparalleled excellence. We use quantitative analysis, metabolically accurate nutrition, proper supplementation, recovery facilitation, intelligence, and a training regiment of such high intensity that few have the wherewithal to imagine, much less dare to embrace. In the same amount of time, our athletes have never failed a single mandated test, yet reside among the elite in each of their chosen sports; standing at the top of the podium of character and integrity.

The Treigning Lab was built upon the foundation of integrity, hard work, and most importantly family. So, in light of recent events The Treigning Lab and its affiliates would, first, like to thank USADA for upholding the standard of sterling athletic practices and offering tests to ensure the safety and fairness of competitive sports. That being said, we would also like to thank all those who have come forward at this time to show their genuine concern for all of our athletes, especially TJ Dillashaw, a fallen soldier on the battlefield of public expectation and demand for perfection. Although, not right, and inexcusable, TJ succumbed to the relentless pressure to win at any cost for the purposes of appeasing his employers, pleasing his fan base, and providing for his family; a sentiment that we all can relate to.

He has now accepted the repercussions of his decisions; and as such, it is our decision as The Treigning Lab family, to stand beside him in his journey forward.

TJ for his part, two days after that would issue a more sensible statement:

I messed up. I’m having a hard time trying to forgive myself for this, which I should have a hard time. I understand the criticism and scrutiny coming my way, but what I really feel bad about is people bringing up my coaches, my family, and my teammates. They had no involvement in this, and I feel the worst for them. I got a 15 month old son, and I want to be a role model for him. I’m sure there are a lot of other kids out there too. It’s tough.

But I’ve got to man up to what I did. I accepted all penalties, I didn’t try to fight this thing. I’m going to sit for the next 2 years. As of January 18th, 2021 is when I’m allowed to come back. I got shoulder surgery yesterday on my right shoulder. Two months later I’m getting my left one done. I had a torn rotator cuff and labrum for the last 2 and a half years, I’ve been dealing with. It’d be nice to get those healed up and come back. I’ve had people tell me I should just disappear and let this stuff die out, but I don’t think that’s the way of handling this thing. I’m coming at it head first, showing my son that when you make a mistake, face it, don’t run from it. Trust me, I’d love to run away and go hide in a cave for the next two years and continue to grow out this shitty beard.

This is who I am, I’m a fighter and I’m going to fight my way through this one. I want to apologize to my fans, anyone I’ve let down, obviously my family, my coaches, my teammates, can’t say sorry enough. This is stuff you’re dealing with because of me. This won’t be the end of me, I’ll be back. I’m making you a promise now that I’ll be back better, stronger, and I’ll prove that the hard work that I put in is what got me to where I’m at, and not the bad decisions I made. That’s all I can do to redeem myself. I want to be better, and I will.

Tested during suspension? Tested February and July 2019

84.  Alexander Volkov

Current status: Unknown

In April it was reported that Alex Volkov was out of his upcoming fight against Alistair Overeem. The next day Russian media would report that this was due to a potential USADA violation.

The reason for removing Russian heavyweight Alexander Volkov from the UFC tournament in St. Petersburg has become known. It has been revealed to “Match TV”, the reason for removing the Russians from the tournament was the violation of the anti-doping promotion policy. Alexander Volkov was due to meet with Alistair Overeem in the main event of UFC Fight Night 149 in St. Petersburg. He will be replaced by another Russian, Alexey Oleinik. 

For his part, Volkov has said it is due to “Health problems”.

If the reports are true it would the eighth violation by  Russian athlete under the USADA program. Forty four Russian’s have fought in the UFC since 2015.

Tested during suspension? 

85.  Mairbek Taisumov

Current status: Suspension ended April 2019


On April 11th 2019 it was announced that Mairbek Taisumov had been suspended for 6 months by USADA after testing positive for Stanozolol in a sample collected after his win against Desmond Green at UFC Moscow. USADA determined that his positive was a result of a contaminated supplement which listed no prohibited substances on its ingredients.

With his suspension starting in October, 3 weeks after the bout it is not clear if the win will stand or be ruled a no-contest by the UFC.

Tested during suspension? Tested December 2018 and February 2019

Image86.  Walt Harris

Current status: Suspension ended April 2019

Suspended by California Athletic Commission for four months following a positive in competition test for LGD4033 after his UFC 232 win over Andrei Arlovski. It was revealed by CSAC that a “contaminated supplement” was the cause and in April 2019 USADA confirmed this following up with their own 4 month suspension.

Tested during suspension? Tested March and April 2019 

87.  Nicco Montano

Current status: Suspension ended May 2019

2018 turned out to be rough year for Tuf winner Nicco Montano. First pulled from her title defence against Valentina Shevchenko, then stripped of her flyweight title, and finally in December tested positive for ostarine.

Deemed by USADA to be non-intentional (despite not being able to identify any supplement), she will be eligible to return in the summer of 2019.

Tested during suspension? Tested March 2019 

88.  Carlos Costa

Current status: Suspension ended February 2019

Paulo Costa’s “athlete support personnel” received a 6 months suspension for administering Paulo’s prohibited IV at UFC 212 and 217.

89.  Neil Magny

Current status: Cleared to compete

In early May 2019 Neil Magny was pulled from his upcoming bout against Vicente Luque. A few days later on May 14th Magny would confirm it was due to a positive test for a sarm, LGD-4033.

As many of you know, I had to withdraw from my sceduled bout against Vicente Luque on Saturday, May 18th. I want to apologize to him, as I know how difficult it is to lose an opponent days out from a fight. Throughout my MMA career I have been very transparent. I am not afraid to admit when I am in the wrong. On Saturday, May 11, 2019, I recieved an email from USADA stating that I have been flagged due to an “out of competition drug test”. The flag was due to a metabolite of the substance “Di-Hydroxy-LGD-4033”. I have fully cooperated with USADA thus far to determine how this substance was found in the sample I provided them on May 5, 2019. I have always been an advocate for the strict drug testing in the UFC, even to the extent of opting for my collected samples to be used for research purposes by USADA. I know without a doubt that I have done everything according to the standards set by USADA. I have faith in USADA that this situation will resolved in a timely manner and that I will be cleared of any wrong doing. To all of my fans and supporters, thank you. I assure you that I have not let you down

In September Magny would announce on Instagram that he had been cleared to compete.

There’s no way it can happen to me.” That’s what I said for years until USADA notified me of my provisional suspension due to an adverse finding.  That was almost four months ago.  I couldn’t understand how this could happen.  I have always been careful and have never, to this day, consumed a questionable substance that could put my career or reputation in question.  I have been a top 10 UFC fighter for a while, and I LOVE my job.  Regardless, this did happen to me, and when It did, it was confusing and it hurt.  The process—as laid out by USADA—was rather convoluted and unfair, I thought.  It’s difficult to hear that even though you thought you did everything right, you are strictly liable for the adverse findings.  Even to this day, I feel USADA does what they believe is right, but that doesn’t change the reality that I was guilty until proven innocent.  It’s been roughly 4 months since I was notified by USADA of a potential violation.  They placed me on a provisional suspension as they conducted their investigation.  During this time, a team of people have forced USADA to review their policies, and I hope you (family, friends, fans and fighters) will see real, positive changes in the quality of USADA’s rules and by-laws.  Nonetheless, during these last few months I continued to fully cooperate with USADA and submit to their required regular testing.  Finally, I am pleased to announce that as of September 4, 2019, my provisional suspension has been lifted without further present penalties. I am truly grateful for all of the people involved in the process of getting this resolved. Thank you to my lawyer, Jared McLuskey, the UFC’s Athlete Health/Performance team- Jeff Novitzky and Donna Marcolini, my team for keeping me focused, and my wife and family for being present and supportive.  They have helped me with every step along the way. Thank you to my friends and fans.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

Tested during suspension?  

90.  Alex Gorgees

Current status: Suspension ends April 2020

Called up on short notice in late 2018 Alex Gorgees promptly tested positive for Drostanolone and the Turinabol M3 metabolite. He immediately admitted use prior to joining the UFC, something that had he told them when he entered the pool. he just would have got 6 months probation for.

Gorgees, since released by the UFC, is the 22nd athlete to fail their first USADA test, but who’s counting, right?

91.  Yaozong Hu

Current status: Suspension ends January 2020

In June 2019 USADA announced that Chinese fighter Yaozong Hu had tested positive as a result of a supplement, and would be suspended for 10 months. The supplement in question contained arimistane which carries a 12 month punishment but despite the substance being clearly indicated on the supplements ingredient panel Hu was able to get a short reduction due to his co-operation.

Tested during suspension? 

92.  Ivan Shtyrkov

Current status: Suspension ends April 2021 (Has lef thte UFC)

In April 2019 undefeated Russian  Light Heavyweight Ivan Shtyrkov was due to make his UFC debut against Devin Clark. Shortly before the fight he was withdrawn for undisclosed reasons and that was the last we heard.

Until late June when Russian media reported that he had in fact tested positive and subsequently asked for, and was granted his release from the company. reported that initially his sample was deemed atypical which led to further testing (in all likelihood IRMS – isotope ratio mass spectrometary) which detected what they describe as “picograms” of a prohibited substance.

In July it was announced that the Russian had indeed tested positive for Boldenone following IRMS (Isotope ratio testing) of his samples. He was suspended for 2 years.

94.  Alen Amedovski

Current status: Suspension ended July 2019

In July it was announced that the Italian/Macedonian had failed a fight night drug test for carboxy-THC (Cannabis). He was suspended for three months, reduced due to completing a drug awareness course. He lost the St Petersburg bout to Krzysztof Jotko.

Tested during suspension? Tested May and June 2019

95.  Melissa Gatto

Current status: Suspended till June 2020

Originally booked to make her debut Talita Bernado in May (that fight was scuppered by the Brazilian commission who were unhappy with a skin complaint Gatto had), the Brazilian Melissa Gatto was then due to make her debut in July against Julia Avila before being withdrawn 20 days out.

Avilla it seems had become another USADA victim and because the fight was sanctioned in Nevada also falls under the jurisdiction of the Nevada Athletic Commission. No word on the substance but Gatto is claiming a contaminated supplement and has requested the b-sample be analysed along with all her supplements.

Her case went to initial hearing by Nevada on July 24th when it was confirmed the substance involved was Furosemide.

In October 2019 she was suspended by USADA for 12 months.

Tested during suspension? 

96.  Giacamo Lemos

Current status: Suspended until July 2021

Due to make his UFC debut at UFC 240 in July the Brazilian heavyweight was pulled just a few days before the fight. Shortly thereafter it was revealed by opponent Tanner Boser that he been pulled due to failing his first USADA test (number 24 for those paying attention).

“I am absolutely devastated to learn that I will not be fighting in two days at UFC 240. My bitch made opponent Giacomo Lemos tested positive for a banned substance and it is too late to find a replacement as weigh ins are tomorrow morning. I thought it was strange that Lemos wouldn’t make eye contact with me at all whenever I saw him at the hotel. I know now that it’s because he’s a coward. UFC has told me that they will get me on a future card as soon as they can. I am so so sorry to all my friends and family who paid good money for tickets to come out and watch my UFC debut. I am beyond bummed.”

Shortly afterwards Lemos would make his own statement blaming it potentially on an “Anti inflammatory injection” he had received two months earlier..

“I still don’t really know what happened, but we suspect that an anti-inflammatory injection I took on my last fight in Seoul [on April 8], before I had a contract with the UFC, was contaminated with this substance, a substance that stays longer in your body. I got confirmation that I was going to fight in the UFC on six weeks’ notice. My test was done on July 9, and unfortunately the result came back two days before my debut. We’re also investigating all supplements I took since then and we’ll get them analyzed as well to check for a possible contamination, besides asking for the B sample to be tested because the amount was so low it would mean no benefit in this fight. I want to make clear that I’m completely against any form of doping. I’ve was always been a clean athlete and competed in many different sports, being drug tested before, and never tested positive for anything. My goal is to continue in the UFC proving my innocence in this case because I know I have what it takes to fight for the belt one day.”

In October 2019 it was revealed that the “Anti-inflammatory” was in fact boldenone and he was suspended for two years.

Tested during suspension? 

97.  Istela Nunes

Current status: Suspended until August 2012

Due to make her UFC debut against Angela Hill in September it was announced a month out from the fight that Istela Nunes had become the 25th fighter to fail their first USADA test. In October it was announced that she had been suspended for two years following a positive test for stanozolol.

Tested during suspension?

98.  John Allan Arte

Current status: Suspended till July 2020

Within a few hours of the Nunes announcement came the news that another fighter new to the UFC, John Allan Arte had tested positive in what was also his first test session. Arte fought Mike Rodriguez in July at UFC Sacramento picking up a decision victory. His positive for Tamoxifen however is likely to see that one chalked off.

In October 2019 he was suspended by both USADA and California Athletic Commission for 12 months and his win reversed to a no contest.

Tested during suspension?

99.  Roman Dolidze

Current status: Suspended until March 2020

Another day, another new signing tests positive before ever stepping foot in the octagon. This time it was Georgian/Ukranian Roman Dolidze who after his positive test would admit to using both DHMCT (Oral Turinabol) and Clomiphene prior to joining the UFC. His admission would see his suspension reduced to one year.

Tested during suspension? Tested May and July 2019

100.  CB Dolloway

Current status: Suspended until December 2020

Back in 2018 CB Dolloway was the victim of some horrendous refereeing at the hands of Herb Dean that saw him brutally Ko’d by Khalid Murtazaliev who would later test positive for prohibited substances (having not been tested by USADA prior to the fight).

Any sympathy some may have had for the American was cast aside in July of 2019 when it was announced that he had himself tested positive for no fewer than four different substances (Anastrozole, GHRP-2, GHRP-6, amagnnd Clomiphene) as well as admitting to IV use.

Tested during suspension? Tested April, May and August 2019

Non USADA suspensions since 1st July 2015

  1. Konstantin Erokhin – tested positive for drostanolone prior to his Tuf 22 loss against Gabriel Gonzaga and was suspended for 1 year from December 15th 2015 by Nevada Athletic Commission. He was released by the promotion shortly afterwards.
  2. Niko Price, Curtis Blaydes, Abel Trujillo – All three fighters were hit with 3 month suspensions from Texas Department of Licensing after testing positive for cannabis at UFC Houston. Of the trio, only Blaydes was tested on fight night by USADA but he did not trip the anti doping agencies 170ng/ml notification threshold. Texas cannabis threshold has flipped between 15ng/ml and 50ng/ml in recent years.
  3. Anthony Hernandez – The 24 year old middleweight earned a UFC contract after beating Jordan Wright by first round KO on Dana White’s Contender Series. Unfortunately he then tested positive for Cannabis earning himself a six month suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission.
  4. Maria Borella suspended until 2044 (yes, two thousand and fourty four) by NADO Italia.
  5. Antonio Trocoli picked up a win in Dana Whites Contender Series and grabbed what he thought was a UFC contract. The contract would be pretty quickly torn up and thrown away after he failed his fight night drug test, testing positive for nandrolone.