USADA: Junior dos Santos, two others, cleared of intentionally using PEDs

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist
Junior dos Santos is immediately eligible to fight after USADA discovered he had taken a tainted supplement. (Getty Images)

From the moment his positive drug test became public on Aug. 18, Junior dos Santos proclaimed his innocence.

On Monday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency agreed with him.

USADA announced in a news release that dos Santos, as well as Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Marcos Rogerio de Lima, had taken tainted supplements from two compounding pharmacies in their native Brazil.

Each of the fighters accepted a six-month suspension and are immediately eligible to compete.

From the USADA news release:

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. 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. These substances are prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

“After testing supplements the athletes provided to USADA, the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City confirmed the presence of multiple prohibited substances in the products. Through an ongoing investigation, 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.”

Ana Claudia Guedes, dos Santos’ attorney, said the former champion had taken custom-compounded medical and nutritional supplements prescribed by an endocrinologist for five years.

He was shocked and angered by the news of the positive test and said USADA’s finding ends a difficult period in his life.

“I’m relieved that this nightmare is finally over and that we were able to determine what happened and where the prohibited substance found in my sample came from,” dos Santos said in a statement released by Guedes. “Like I’ve always said, I’m a clean athlete. The most important thing now is that I can go back to earning my livelihood. I want to get back inside the Octagon as quickly as possible. Back to business.”

Dos Santos still does not have a fight scheduled. He was preparing to fight Francis Ngannou at UFC 215 when the positive test became public.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was cleared of an anti-doping violation Monday by USADA and is immediately eligible to fight. (Getty Images)

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