Cris "Cyborg" Justino's UFC future is now looking a lot brighter now.
USADA, the anti-doping agency that oversees UFC’s drug testing program, has granted the Invicta FC champion a therapeutic use exemption (TUE), according to an announcement on Friday. Cyborg tested positive for the banned diuretic substance spironolactone in an out-of-competition sample collection taken in early December last year.
Here is part of the statement the agency released announcing Cyborg’s exemption:
USADA announced today that UFC® athlete Cristiane Justino, of Curitiba, Brazil, has been granted a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and will therefore not face an anti-doping policy violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance in December of 2016. With this announcement, USADA is providing a public notice of the case’s resolution following the announcement of the potential anti-doping violation by the UFC on December 22, 2016…
Because Justino’s TUE application was granted retroactively, her provisional suspension has been lifted with immediate effect and her positive test will not result in an anti-doping policy violation. However, as a condition of the TUE approval, Justino will be required to continue to carefully document her medical care and must apply for a TUE renewal in advance of TUE expiry should she wish to maintain compliance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.
Cyborg would have been facing a one-year ban for the failed test, but now could resume competing for the company. Cyborg took to social media to express her happiness over the resolution of this latest issue concerning illegal drugs.
I am extremely happy that USADA took the time to carefully review the detailed TUE application that I submitted, and agreed that my use of the prescription has always been medically justified. I look forward to returning to the octagon as soon as possible, and proving that I am the Pound for Pound champion of WMMA. I would also like to thank my fans for their continued support, who made a very difficult time easier for me.
This isn’t the first time Cyborg has gotten in trouble after failing a drug test. After defending her Strikeforce women’s featherweight championship over Hiroko Yamanaka in 2011, Cyborg’s title was stripped after testing positive for stanozolol.
Cyborg is potentially being slated to face newly-crowned UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie at some point in the future. The division was created by UFC in large part so that the women’s MMA star could compete at 145 pounds. Prior to the creation of the women’s 145-pound division, Cyborg was competing at 135 pounds in her two fights for UFC, a weight that Cyborg herself has admitted is very tough to pull off.
In 2016, Cyborg defeated Leslie Smith and Lina Lansberg at UFC 198 and UFC Fight Night 95, respectively.