Junior dos Santos is one of three UFC fighters who has been cleared to fight immediately by USADA after the anti-doping organization discovered that two Brazilian compounding pharmacies sold the athletes tainted supplements.
Dos Santos, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Marcos Rogerio de Lima all recently failed USADA drug tests as a result of the tainted supplements. Dos Santos and Nogueira tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, while de Lima tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide and anastrozole.
“Unlike retail pharmacies and drugstores, which receive their drug inventories from commercial manufacturers, compounding pharmacies prepare their medications onsite according to specifications contained in a written prescription,” the USADA statement read. “In addition to medications, both compounding pharmacies investigated by USADA also produced and sold nutritional supplements and marketed their products as a safe alternative to mass produced medications and supplements. The pharmacies also claimed to utilize manufacturing processes designed to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination.
“Despite their claims, the compounding pharmacies, located in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil, sold contaminated supplements to Junior dos Santos Almeida and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who each tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, and Marcos Rogerio de Lima, who tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide and anastrozole.”
The presence of prohibited substances in the supplements was confirmed by a WADA-accredited lab in Salt Lake City. Additionally, USADA “independently sourced supplements from the compounding pharmacies, which the Salt Lake City laboratory confirmed were also contaminated with hydrochlorothiazide, anastrozole, and several additional prohibited substances.” The Brazilian national anti-doping agency, Autoridade Brasileira de Controle de Dopagem, also assisted with the investigation.
According to the release, dos Santos, Nogueira and de Lima all accepted reduced six-month sanctions that ended upon the resolution of the case.
“The rule recognizes that supplements can be a risk and also guards against unfounded and unfair reductions by requiring a thorough investigation of all claims of ‘contamination.’ The rule also ensures that athletes are not overly penalized when they have been diligent in what they use, and when it is proven the source of the positive is from a contaminated product, like in these cases,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said.
Dos Santos was supposed to face Francis Ngannou at UFC 215 on Sept. 9 before he was pulled from the card due for failing an out-of-competition drug test in August. “Cigano” last appeared at UFC 211, where he suffered a first-round TKO loss to Stipe Miocic in a heavyweight title bout.
Nogueira’s violation resulted in him being pulled from a proposed light heavyweight clash with Jared Cannonier at UFC on Fox 26 on Dec. 16, while de Lima was removed from a 205-pound tilt with Saparbek Safarov at UFC Fight Night 115 on Sept. 2.