UFC Heavyweight Raphael Pessoa Slapped With One Year Suspension

Raphael Pessoa was last seen in action at UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till, suffering a second round TKO loss to Tanner Boser.

It turns out that the fight against Boser is going to be Pessoa’s last until March of 2021 because Pessoa has been suspended one year by USADA for failing a drug test back in March of this year.

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USADA issued the following press release on the matter:

Raphael Pessoa Nunes Accepts Sanction for Violation of UFC Anti-Doping Policy

USADA announced today that Raphael Pessoa Nunes, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has accepted a one-year sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

Pessoa Nunes, 31, tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and its metabolites chlorothiazide and 4-amino-6-chloro-1,3-benzenedisulfonamide (ACB) as the result of a sample collected out-of-competition on March 4, 2020. HCTZ is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and UFC Prohibited List.

The reporting of the sample was delayed by laboratory closures due to COVID-19.

Pessoa Nunes’ one-year period of ineligibility began on March 4, 2020, the date his positive sample was collected.

USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. In an effort to aid UFC athletes, as well as their support team members, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on the UFC Anti-Doping Program website (https:// UFC.USADA. org) regarding the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements, as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.

In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (https:// UFC. GlobalDRO .com), conducts educational sessions, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, and periodic athlete alerts. Many of the resources available to athletes are provided in multiple languages, including Russian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese.

Along with education and testing, robust anti-doping programs enable investigations stemming from tips and whistleblowers. USADA makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sport in an effort to protect clean athletes and promote clean competition. Any tip can be reported using the USADA Play Clean Tip Center, by email at playclean @ usada.org, by phone at 1 877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253), or by mail.

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