Ovince Saint Preux Accepts 3-Month Sanction from USADA, Tainted Supplement to Blame

UFC Saitama Ovince St. Preux
Credit: Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com

UFC light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux, who once fought Jon Jones for interim gold, has accepted a three-month retroactive suspension from USADA.

Just hours after news broke that Diego Sanchez had accepted a three-month sanction from USADA, the anti-doping organization announced that OSP is in the same boat. Ovince Saint Preux has accepted a three-month ban after testing positive for multiple banned substances, USADA announced in a press release Friday. Both fighters’ positive drug tests were the result of tainted supplements.

In OSP’s case, the light heavyweight tested positive for ostarine and di-hydroxy-LGD-4033 (a metabolite of LGD-4033), as well GW1516 sulfone and GW1516 sulfoxide (metabolites of GW1516, otherwise known as GW-501516). All of those are banned at all times under the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy, which is enforced by USADA.

In this case, as in the case of Diego Sanchez, the athlete was able to provide sealed samples of supplements he was using, which did not feature any banned substances on the label — but which did contain them. The supplements were tested at the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Per Friday’s press release from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, OSP’s sanction was reduced in part due to recent changes in the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy.

On November 25, 2019, revisions to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy were announced. Under the revised UFC Anti-Doping Policy, if a situation arises where an athlete tests positive and is able to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the cause of the positive test was due to a supplement certified by one of the certifiers in the UFC rules, he or she will not be subject to an anti-doping policy violation and will be permitted to compete after follow-up testing and when there is no performance enhancing benefit in question.

USADA determined that Saint Preux’s exposure to these substances began on October 25, 2019, prior to the current UFC Anti-Doping Policy being announced. Although Saint Preux was not using a Certified Supplement, he received a reduction to his period of ineligibility because he was able to prove that his positive test was caused by contaminated products and the very low levels detected in the products would not have enhanced his performance.

Saint Preux (24–13), 36-years-old, last fought in September 2019 at UFC Copenhagen, where he picked up a Von Flue Choke submission against Michał Oleksiejczuk. With his suspension already served (backdated to October), he’s free to return to action immediately. OSP had been linked to a fight with Ryan Spann at UFC 247, but that bout was pulled from the card shortly after it was announced.