UFC middleweight contender Yoel Romero will be eligible to return to the cage this summer after accepting a six-month ban from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
USADA on Monday announced terms of the sanction, imposed as a result of Romero violating the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.
Romero, 38, tested positive for the growth hormone secretagogue Ibutamoren in an out-of-competition drug test conducted on Dec. 16, 2015, four days after the American Top Team fighter took a split decision against Ronaldo Souza at UFC 194. USADA noted that the drug was not present in Romero’s “fight night” test result, and as such, his win over Souza will not be overturned.
Romero’s six-month ban is retroactive to Jan. 12, 2016, the date upon which he was notified of the positive drug test and provisionally suspended from competition. That means the “Soldier of God” could be back inside the Octagon as early as July 12.
According to USADA’s statement, the organization’s testing “conclusively confirmed” that Romero’s positive test was the result of a contaminated dietary supplement, the label of which did not disclose the presence of Ibutamoren. The unnamed product has since been added to USADA’s list of “high-risk supplements.”
“This case clearly demonstrates some of the dangers inherent to supplement use,” USADA’s Special Advisor on Drugs and Supplements, Dr. Amy Eichner, said in a statement. “When considering whether to incorporate supplements into a training plan, it is vitally important that athletes exercise the upmost care in order to avoid making a decision that could endanger their eligibility, reputation or general health and wellness.”
Romero, in a statement released to MMAFighting.com, said that he will pursue legal action against the supplement company “within the next few weeks.”