Abu Azaitar Denied Retroactive TUE, Receives 7-Month USADA Suspension

By Tristen Critchfield Feb 1, 2021


UFC middleweight Abu Azaitar has received a seven-month suspension from USADA for multiple anti-doping violations.

Azaitar tested positive for tamoxifen, a selective estrogren receptor module, in urine samples collected on Aug. 25, Sept. 4, Sept. 9 and Sept. 17, the organization announced Monday. Tamoxifen is often linked to post-cycle steroid use in athletes.

Azaitar provided medical records that he was prescribed tamoxifen by a doctor to treat “symptoms” for an undisclosed condition. However, the fighter “lacked a valid therapeutic use exemption (TUE) and his subsequent application for a retroactive TUE was denied due to lack of sufficient medical justification.” Azaitar was granted a reduced suspension due to the circumstances of the case and thanks to his full and complete cooperation. Azaitar’s suspension began on Aug. 25, which means he will be eligible to return to action on March 25.

Azaitar is the older brother of former UFC lightweight Ottman Azaitar, who was released from the promotion following a “violation of health and safety protocols” ahead of his scheduled fight at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. Abu Azaitar is 14-2-1 as a professional, including a decision win over Vitor Miranda in his lone Octagon appearance at UFC Fight Night 134 in July 2018. He has not competed since that bout.

The full USADA statement is as follows:

USADA announced today that Abu Azaitar, of Rabat, Morocco, has accepted a seven-month sanction for a violation of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy.

Azaitar, 34, tested positive for tamoxifen and/or tamoxifen metabolite 3-hydroxy-4-methoxy-tamoxifen as the result of urine samples collected on August 25, 2020, September 4, 2020, September 9, 2020 and September 17, 2020. Tamoxifen is a Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and UFC Prohibited List.

After being notified of his positive test, Azaitar provided evidence (including medical records), that he was prescribed tamoxifen by a physician to treat symptoms. Tamoxifen is a selective estrogen receptor modulator used therapeutically to treat certain types of cancer in females and also prescribed off-label for males with various other conditions. Although the substance was taken at the direction of a physician, Azaitar lacked a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and his subsequent application for a retroactive TUE was denied due to lack of sufficient medical justification. Under the applicable rules, Azaitar was eligible for a reduction to the period of ineligibility based on the specific circumstances of his case and for his Full and Complete Cooperation.

Azaitar’s seven-month period of ineligibility began on August 25, 2020, the date his first positive sample was collected.
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