The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has suspended UFC veteran George Sullivan for one year after a failed out of competition drug test prior to UFC 208.
This was the fighters second offense and he was supposed to receive a two year suspension, but only received a one year suspension after USADA considered external circumstances before issuing a suspension.
Here is the full statement from USADA:
“USADA announced today that UFC® athlete, George Sullivan, of Toms River, N.J., has tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted a one-year sanction for his second anti-doping policy violation.
“Sullivan, 36, tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolite, 4-hydroxyclomiphene, following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on January 14, 2017. Clomiphene is a Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
“Upon notification of his positive test, Sullivan immediately identified a prescription fertility medication as the source of the prohibited substance detected in his sample. After a thorough review of the case, including the examination of medical records provided by the athlete, USADA confirmed that Sullivan’s positive test was caused by Clomiphene Citrate, which he was using in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician to treat a medical condition. The prescribed use of the medication by Sullivan is considered an “off-label” treatment, as Clomiphene Citrate is not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for use by males.
“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete’s period of ineligibility for using a prohibited substance may be decreased if the athlete lacks significant fault for the anti-doping policy violation. In this instance, USADA determined that Sullivan’s degree of fault was reduced because his use of Clomiphene Citrate was under the care of his physician for a documented medical condition. Accordingly, Sullivan received a reduction to one year from the standard two-year period of ineligibility that could have been imposed for a second offense involving a Specified Substance.
“Sullivan’s one-year period of ineligibility began on January 14, 2017, the date his positive sample was collected. As a result of his positive test, which was announced by UFC on January 26, 2017, Sullivan was removed from the Card for the UFC 208 event in New York, N.Y., that was held on February 11, 2017.
“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 completed under his or her 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 (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 suspension is retroactive, the welterweight fighter is able to compete again on January 14 of 2018.
Sullivan currently holds a 3-2-0 record under the UFC banner, with those victories coming over Mike Rhodes, Igor Araujo and Dominic Waters.