Paulo Costa and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) have crossed paths before, as USADA suspended him for allegedly using illegal IV injections in 2017.
It is for that and the way that the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) fined the fighter for using stomach medication in 2018 that Costa has both organizations on his blacklist.
“Both the NYAC and USADA are on my black list. Just like Khabib won’t fight in Las Vegas because of the Commission, the New York one is on my black list now. They either pay what they owe me or I won’t fight there,” Costa told AG Fight (via Lucas Rezende of Bloody Elbow).
USADA also suspended Dr. Lucas Penchel for two years for allegedly assisting Costa with the illegal IV usage, but Costa is still working with Penchel to this day.
“Dr. Lucas Penchel knows everything, I call him wizard. But USADA has an important and necessary role in the sport, which is to oversee substance abuse, that’s something I completely support.” Costa said. “It made a lot of good for the sport and made it be respected. At the same time, they want to prove their worth and go over the line, punishing people that don’t deserve. The UFC puts a lot of money on USADA, so they need to show some work. Sometimes they go over the line and look for things that aren’t there, they look to punish people who did nothing wrong. Dr. Lucas has never done anything wrong, he’s a reliable person. I had a dehydration problem and came this close of not being able to fight, my stomach hurt and everything. He helped us get a medical prescription and the allowed amount of saline solution. Because he’s a doctor and would not deny helping me, he prescribed that in order to ease the pain, all within USADA’s rules. We could not prove it, though, so USADA sanctioned the punishment. It does not affect his work, though. He’s still my doctor.”
The fighter, who is ranked #2 in the UFC Middleweight Division, hasn’t competed since August of 2019 due to getting bicep surgery late last year.