UFC Welterweight Suspended 2 Years By USADA

UFC Welterweight fighter Viscardi Andrade has been suspended two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Viscardi failed a pre-fight drug test prior to competing at UFC Fight Night 85 for a banned steroid called stanozolol. The fighter was still able to compete at the event because USADA didn’t notify the fighter or the UFC about the results until a few days after the event. At UFC Fight Night 85, the now suspended Andrade defeated Richard Walsh by decision.

“USADA announced today that UFC® athlete, Viscardi Andrade, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, received a two-year sanction, pursuant to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, after testing positive for a prohibited substance.

“Andrade, 33, tested positive for stanozolol and its metabolites, 16β‐hydroxy‐stanozolol and 3’‐hydroxy‐stanozolol, following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on March 7, 2016. Stanozolol is a non-Specified Substance in the category of Anabolic Agents and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

“Andrade’s two-year period of ineligibility began on March 20, 2016, the day after his most recent bout, a victory, at the UFC Fight Night event in Brisbane, Australia, on March 19, 2016. Per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, an Anti-Doping Policy Violation occurring during, or in connection with, a bout may, upon the decision of UFC, lead to disqualification of all the athlete’s results obtained in that bout. Here, because Andrade’s violation resulted from a sample collection that occurred prior to his bout, all information surrounding Andrade’s positive test and sanction has been provided to UFC to make the determination concerning his competition results.

“Pursuant to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, all UFC athletes serving a period of ineligibility for an anti-doping policy violation are required to remain in the USADA registered testing pool and make themselves available for testing in order to receive credit for time served under his or her sanction. Furthermore, if an athlete retires during his or her period of ineligibility, the athlete’s sanction will be tolled until such time the athlete notifies USADA of his or her return from retirement and once again makes him or herself available for no-advance-notice, out-of-competition testing.

“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 (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 (UFC.GlobaDRO.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.”

Since the fighter failed a drug test officially on March 20 of 2016, the retroactive suspension will allow him to compete again on March 20 of 2018.

In an interesting side note to the story, the Brazilian lab that conducted Andrade’s (and other fighters) drug tests lost its WADA accreditation for failing to adhere to international drug testing standards. It is unknown at this time if the situation involving the Brazilian lab will somehow affect Andrade’s suspension or anything else related to the failed drug test.

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