UFC Welterweight George Sullivan has been sanctioned for his second anti-doping offense by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
The 36-year-old was facing a suspension of two years for his second offense. USADA investigators took into consideration the factors surrounding his positive test that resulted from an out-of-competition sample taken January 14 just prior to a scheduled appearance at UFC 208. The UFC welterweight had disclosed he was taking prescription fertility medication and provided medical records to document his treatment that assisted him in getting reduced punishment.
In a statement, the United States Anti-Doping Agency said it confirms that the positive test of Sullivan was caused by Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid), which he was using in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician to treat a medical condition. The statement further reads that the prescribed use of the medication by Sullivan is considered an ‘off-label’ treatment, as Clomiphene Citrate is not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for use by males.
Clomiphene is a Specified Substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy that has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
USADA also said the period of ineligibility of an athlete under the UFC anti-doping policy as well as the World Anti-Doping Code for using a prohibited substance may be decreased if the athlete lacks significant fault for the anti-doping policy violation. The statement by USADA also reads that the United States Anti-Doping Agency determined in this case that the degree of fault of Sullivan was reduced because his use of Clomiphene Citrate was under the care of his physician for a documented medical condition. It also said that Sullivan therefore received a reduction to one year from the standard two-year period of ineligibility that could have been imposed for a second offense involving a specified substance.
The period of ineligibility of Sullivan began January 14, the date of his positive test. The UFC welterweight was subsequently removed from a fight against Randy Brown at UFC 208.
Sullivan was previously serving a one-year suspension for making the use of a product that contained the prohibited substance Insulin Growth Factor -1 (IGF-1). Sullivan was in the final days of a one-year suspension for his first run-in USADA when the anti-doping agency notified him of his second potential violation. Sullivan received the suspension of one year for declaration of a prohibited substance and was pulled from a fight with Hector Urbina at UFC on FOX 20.
The American mixed martial artist currently competing in the Welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship won the Cage Fury Fighting Championships Welterweight Championship. Sullivan made his promotional debut in the UC against fellow newcomer Mike Rhodes on January 25, 2014 at UFC on Fox 10 and won the fight via unanimous decision. His last fight at the UFC was against Alexander Yakovlev where he lost out via KO (punch).
George Sullivan will be eligible to return to active competition on January 14, 2018.
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