Vinicius Moreira Receives USADA Warning Days Out from UFC Fight Island 8

Vinicius Moreira UFC Minneapolis
Credit: Shooto Brasil Facebook/Fabiano Neves

Thanks to a positive test for a banned substance back in September, Vinicius Moreira has been handed a warning by USADA ahead of UFC Fight Island 8.

It could have been worse. Moreira (9-4) is scheduled to face Ike Villanueva at the event on Wednesday, while looking to snap a three-fight losing streak. Complicating matters is a warning from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, announced in a press release Friday. In it, USADA officials note that the light heavyweight tested positive for anastrozole in an out-of-competition urine sample collected September 25, 2020. The substance, which falls under the category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators, is prohibited at all times under the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy.

In the course of investigating the positive test, Moreira provided USADA with “an open container of a compounded supplement he was using prior to his positive test for analysis at a WADA-accredited laboratory. Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement label, the analysis revealed a low level of anastrozole in the product. Because the product was not a Certified Supplement, Castro faces a violation.”

However, that violation has resulted in only a warning, and Moreira’s fight with Villanueva appears to have the green light. The resolution came via the UFC’s updated Anti-Doping Policy, which took effect on January 1, 2021 and was announced yesterday.

According to Friday’s USADA press release, “Under the revised Policy, USADA may consider in the resolution of the case – along with other factors – whether an athlete’s exposure to a prohibited substance had or likely had a performance enhancing benefit.”

UFC Fight Island 8 (otherwise known as UFC on ESPN 20) takes place January 20, 2021 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The event airs live on ESPN (TSN in Canada). Vinicius Moreira was scheduled to take part in a virtual media day promoting the event Friday morning, but did not appear.