dos Santos And Nogueira Able To Return To UFC

After battling to prove their innocence, Junior dos Santos and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira are able to return to the UFC immediately.

The Brazilian fighter, as well as Marcos Rogerio de Lima, were handed reduced six-month suspensions from USADA following an investigation into to Brazilian pharmacies that were selling contaminated supplements.

Santos and Nogueira had tested positive for the banned substance hydrocholorothiazide, while Rogerio de Lima failed a drug test for hydrocholorothiazide and anasatrozole.

In a press release, USADA  stated that pharmacies located in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, were preparing medication on site and claimed to manufacture nutritional supplements without the possibility of cross-contamination. When tested at the  WADA-accredited SMRTL lab in Salt Lake City, the supplements taken by all three fighters came up contaminated for “multiple banned substances.”

Autoridade Brasileira de Controle de Dopagem, the Brazilian national anti-doping agency, and Brazilian law enforcement assisted USADA.

“We appreciate the cooperation of the athletes and international authorities in getting to the bottom of this situation, as it will hopefully prevent these problems from occurring in the future,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said.

“It’s unacceptable that these compounding pharmacies produced contaminated supplements for the public. And it’s another unfortunate example of why athletes must use extreme caution if using nutritional supplements. All too often, supplement products contain undeclared substances, including prohibited drugs, that can be dangerous to an athlete’s health. We are doing all we can to ensure that these types of suppliers are held accountable for introducing dangerous products like these into the marketplace.”

Dos Santos  was pulled from a fight with Francis Ngannou at UFC 215 last September when he was provisionally suspended for the positive drug test, while Nogueira was pulled from his December fight against Jarred Cannonier, and de Lima had a fight against Saparbek Safarov at UFC Rotterdam pulled.

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