Cristiane Justino could have bigger problems than not being included in the UFC’s inaugural women’s featherweight title bout.
The promotion released a statement on Thursday announcing that “Cyborg” has been notified of a potential anti-doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on Dec. 5. As usual, USADA will handle the “results management and appropriate adjudication of the case.” The Brazilian will be entitled to a full legal review process before any sanctions are levied.
While USADA did not reveal the result of the test, Justino announced on her Facebook page that she tested positive for the diuretic spironolactone. According to the fighter, “the substance is part of a therapeutic treatment being administered to me by doctor that started the 26th of September and is suppose to last for a period of no less than 90 days, requiring blood exams at the completion.
“..We are being fully cooperating with USADA at this time and have already started the process of applying for a retroactive therapeutic use exemption,” she wrote.
MMAFighting.com confirmed with a USADA representative that Justino did test positive for spironolactone, which is banned both in- and out-of-competition. As a result, Justino could receive a one-year suspension from USADA.
In 2011, Justino tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol one day prior to a 16-second stoppage of Hiroko Yamanaka under the Strikeforce banner in San Diego. “Cyborg” was suspended for one year and the victory was changed to a no decision. Justino, who was also stripped of her featherweight crown, blamed the failed drug test on a supplement she used to help with her weight cut.
Justino has not failed a drug test in seven subsequent bouts while competing for Invicta FC and the UFC. She competed twice in the Octagon in 2016, earning TKO stoppages against Lina Lansberg and Leslie Smith in 140-pound catch-weight bouts.
UFC President Dana White said that the promotion offered Justino two title fights at 145 pounds in early 2017, but the Brazilian turned them down, claiming she needed 12 weeks to make the featherweight limit. Instead, Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie will vie for the vacant featherweight crown at UFC 208 on Feb. 11.