George Sullivan has accepted a one-year suspension from USADA “after declaring the use of a prohibited substance contained in a product that was inaccurately labeled,” the organization announced Tuesday.
Sullivan’s suspension is retroactive to Jan. 31, the day after his last Octagon appearance at UFC Fox 18.
The USADA statement is as follows:
Sullivan, 35, declared the use of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) on his sample collection paperwork when describing his use of a deer antler velvet product during an out-of-competition test conducted on July 13, 2016. IGF-1 is a prohibited substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics, and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Following Sullivan’s declaration, USADA initiated an investigation regarding the product declared by Sullivan on his sample collection paperwork. During the course of that investigation, Sullivan provided USADA with information about the supplement product he was referring to when he declared IGF-1.
Although no prohibited substances were specifically listed on the Supplement Facts label, the manufacturer claimed on the product website that each bottle of the product contains an extremely high concentration of IGF-1. Detailed analysis subsequently conducted by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, confirmed the presence of IGF-1 in the product, which has since been added to the list of high risk supplements maintained on USADA’s online dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource.
Sullivan was supposed to was Hector Urbina at UFC on Fox 20 on July 23 but was removed from the card due to what was initially called a “compliance issue” with the anti-doping policy. Sullivan’s sanction was ultimately reduced from two years to one year due to a “reduced degree of fault and his forthright declaration of the product at issue.”