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UFC Lightweight Fighter Suspended For Two Years

UFC lightweight Felipe Olivieri has been handed a suspension of two years for a doping violation stemming from a failed out of competition drug test on January 11, 2016.

This decision was rendered after Olivieri entered into arbitration with the United States Anti-Doping Agency. McLaren Global Sports Solutions served as the independent arbitrator in this case in which Olivieri was handed a two-year suspension.

USADA officials had disclosed that Olivieri tested positive for the presence of 5a-tetrahydromethyltestosteron and 5B-tetrahydromethyltestosterone, which are metabolites of Methyltestosterone.

Methyltestosterone is a non-specified substance in the class of anabolic agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC anti-doping policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. It is classified as an androgenic anabolic steroid that works much in the same way as natural testosterone.

Olivieri, during his arbitration hearing, contested the charge by claiming that drug test results should be disregarded because of alleged breaches of the chain of custody and an alleged lack of competency by the testing laboratory in Brazil.

USADA spokesperson Ryan Madden added the eight-week gap in between sample collection and analysis “falls within the normal range” of six-to-eight weeks. It was further added by Madden that the timing before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio could have contributed to that time as it was very much likely that the Rio Laboratory was very busy.

The claims of Olivieri were not accepted by the arbitrator. It was remarked by the arbitrator that the Felipe Olivieri had failed to prove that the test had been compromised in any way or there was any misconduct in the chain of custody with the sample. The 30-year-old also said the lab had lost its WADA accreditation last year. However, the arbitrator ruled that the loss of WADA accreditation was not the case until June 2016, which was three months after the sample of Olivieri was analyzed. The arbitrator, Richard H. McLaren, said a suspension some three months later of the laboratory’s accreditation does not mean that the sample analysis in March was incorrect or flawed.

The two-year suspension of Olivieri is retroactive to March 10, 2016 that was the date when he was provisionally suspended because of the doping infraction. Olivieri will now be eligible to return to competition in March 2018. The UFC lightweight fighter had only a single fight in the UFC before his failed drug test. The 31-year-old Rio de Janeiro native made his Octagon debut at UFC on Fox 18 where Olivieri  was submitted by Tony Martin [3:02] into the third stanza of their bout.

The loss and suspension of Olivieri (14-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) comes on the heels of a three-fight winning streak on the international circuit. Olivieri started fighting professionally at the age of 17 years and became Brazilian champion of Muay Thai twice. He was also a boxing champion in Rio and Sao Paulo. He participated in a reality show called Xchange Fighting and had fought in Shooto, TUF Brazil, Pancrase, and X-fighting. Olivieri has eleven wins by KO, two by submission (2 RNC).

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Albert Wolfgang
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