Melissa Gatto, who was supposed to face Julia Avila at UFC 239, has accepted a one year sanction from USADA after testing positive for furosemide. pic.twitter.com/w9ywq8hZcr— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) October 17, 2019
Prospective Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight Melissa Gatto has been suspended before ever competing inside the Octagon.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced on Thursday that Gatto tested positive for furosemide, a banned diuretic, and has accepted a one-year suspension following those test results. The substance itself falls into the category of "Diuretics and Masking Agents" that are banned both in and out of competition. Gatto will be eligible to compete again June 2020, dating retroactively to her positive test on June 5.
Originally set to make her promotional debut against Julia Avila at UFC 239 in July, Gatto withdrew from the contest two weeks before it was set to take place. While no reasons were initially given regarding her withdrawal, it could be surmised that this test result contributed to her pulling out of the fight.
Brazil's Gatto has yet to lose as a professional, with six wins coupled with two draws. Most recently, Gatto tapped current UFC bantamweight Karol Rosa with a kimura in September 2018 that resulted in Gatto's signing. Four of her six victories have come by tapout, and all four within the first round. Gatto is one of a small but noteworthy number of recent fighters that have been suspended before making their organizational debuts, including Vince Murdock and Giacomo Lemos.
USADA's statement regarding Gatto is as follows:
USADA announced today that Melissa Gatto Regonha, of Parana, Brazil, has accepted a one-year sanction for a violation of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy after testing positive for a prohibited substance.
Gatto Regonha, 23, tested positive for furosemide as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample she provided on June 5, 2019. Furosemide is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
Gatto Regonha's one-year period of ineligibility began on June 5, 2019, the date her positive sample was collected. Regonha's positive test also falls under the jurisdiction of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which has imposed a sanction in accordance with its rules.