UFC: Jose de Souza Hit With Two-Year Ban by USADA Following Failed Drug Test

Chartway Arena, UFC Norfolk Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

He never had a chance to make his promotional debut, and now welterweight Jose de Souza will be sitting out the next two years of his UFC career.

In an announcement on Thursday, the U.S. Anti-Doping Association (USADA) announced that de Souza, 6-1, had failed an out-of-competition drug test on March 8, 2023 testing positive for 19-norandrosterone (19-NA) and 19-noretiocholanolone, both metabolites of nandrolone.

Nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, is prohibited at all times under the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy. As a promotional newcomer, de Souza had the opportunity to declare any prohibited substances he had used in the 12 months prior to signing with the UFC. He did not, however, declare his use of nandrolone.

As a result, the Brazilian, barely over 20, has been handed a two-year sanction backdated to the date of his positive test.

As USADA noted in their press release on Thursday, had de Souza declared use of the substance, he would not have been in violation of the UFC’s ADP, though he would have had to wait an extra six months prior to making his debut.

“Upon being added to the UFC Anti-Doping Program, athletes are required to declare prohibited substances they have used in the previous 12 months. An athlete who makes such declaration will not be deemed to have committed a violation but, depending on the substance, may be required to refrain from competition for a period of at least six months and provide at least two negative samples. De Souza did not declare the use of nandrolone and/or other 19-norsteroids on his onboarding declaration forms.”

Jose Henrique Nascimento de Souza competed on Dana White’s Contender Series last year, knocked out at the hands of Japan’s Yusaku Kinoshita. He bounced back under the Shooto Brasil banner this past February. That was enough to see him picked up by the UFC, but he’ll now be waiting a long while before a chance at finally making his debut.


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