A rare move has been made by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as the drug testing organization has suspended non-fighter in Dr. Lucas Penchel for two years. The doctor was suspended after illegally giving UFC fighter Paulo Costa and his brother Carlos Costa IV infusions in 2017.
USADA issued the following press release on the matter:
Dr. Lucas Penchel Accepts Sanction for Violation of UFC Anti-Doping Policy
USADA announced today that Dr. Lucas Penchel, of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has accepted a two-year sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (UFC ADP) resulting from his complicity in the administration and use of over-limit intravenous (IV) infusions of permitted substances on June 2, 2017 and November 3, 2017 by Carlos Costa and Paulo Costa, respectively.
In 2017, IV infusions and/or injections of more than 50 mL per 6-hour period were prohibited except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures, or clinical investigations under the UFC ADP. The UFC ADP has since been amended and now prohibits IV infusions and/or injections of more than 100 mL per 12-hour period with the added exception of those determined to be medically justified and within the standard of care by a licensed physician and administered by a licensed medical professional. Applying the current rules, the 2017 infusions remain in violation of the UFC ADP.
During its investigation, USADA learned that Dr. Penchel recommended and prescribed the 2017 prohibited IV infusions. The UFC ADP applies to Athlete Support Personnel who are directly working with, treating, or assisting any UFC athlete in a professional or sport-related capacity. This includes, without limitation, acting as a manager, coach, trainer, second, corner man, agent, or medical personnel.
“Dr. Penchel, like all athlete support personnel, was entrusted to help athletes make safe and informed decisions, but instead, he violated anti-doping rules and his oath to best protect athletes’ health and safety,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart.
Dr. Penchel’s two-year period of ineligibility began on March 17, 2020, the date he accepted his sanction.
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.