JDS, Little Nog, and Marcos Rogerio de Lima are cleared to return to action following a tainted supplement investigation by USADA.
In a press release Monday, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced that pursuant to an investigation in conjunction with Autoridade Brasileira de Controle de Dopagem (the Brazilian national anti-doping agency) and law enforcement agencies in Brazil, two Brazilian compounding pharmacies have been tabbed as sources of contaminated supplements that led to the suspension of a trio of UFC fighters. Junior dos Santos Almeida, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Little Nog), and Marcos Rogerio de Lima failed drug tests under the UFC’s anti-doping policy, run by USADA, as a result of supplements put together by the pharmacies. That, despite claims made that they utilized “manufacturing processes designed to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination.”
The pharmacies in question were not named, but were located in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
All three fighters accepted reduced six month suspensions for the failed tests, despite tainted supplements being found as the root cause of their failures. Those suspensions haev already been served. USADA advises athletes to be extremely cautious when using any supplements, and tainting has frequently led to suspensions despite no intentional cheating by fighters being uncovered.
“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,” said Travis T. Tygart, CEO of USADA. “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.”
Compounding pharmacies, unlike traditional drug stores that order direct from manufacturers, prepare medications on site based on prescriptions. In Monday’s release, USADA said they “will continue working with law enforcement and regulatory agencies in Brazil to investigate the operations of the offending pharmacies.”