UFC Fighter Banned for a Year by USADA

Raphael Pessoa, a contender in the heavyweight division of the UFC, will face a ban and will only be allowed to return to the octagon in the spring of 2021. This suspension comes from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after he violated the UFC anti-doping policies.

Pessoa tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and its metabolites chlorothiazide and 4-amino-6-chloro-1,3-benzenedisulfonamide (ACB) which are banned under the USADA. Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic and is used to increase the urine produced in the body with the aim to mask and dilute agents found in a drug test.

Though the drug test was carried out in March, the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown delayed the results. He has accepted the suspension and it will be in play till March 4, 2021. He contested once due to this delay in July. Pessoa fought and lost to Tanner Boser via second-round TKO on July 26.

Pessoa currently stands at a UFC record of 1-2, with another loss coming at his debut fight. He submitted to Cirly Gane last year. His only victory in the UFC was against Jeff Hughes that came at UFC Singapore in October 2019.

UFC fighter justifies his stance

Raphael Pessoa spoke to MMA Fighting about his positive result. Pessoa said it was the medication prescribed to him to treat his chronic rhinitis. He did not inform the doctor that he was a UFC fighter, and that was probably why he was administered the banned substances.

Pessoa said, “I fell ill (in March) and went to a hospital but didn’t inform them I was a UFC fighter. The doctor prescribed me a medication and I took it, and now that was announced. But it’s ok, the suspension is almost over. I’ll be more alert about the medication they prescribe me now.”

Before competing in the UFC, Raphael Pessoa contested in LFA and Shooto Brazil as well. Looking to make a return to the octagon as soon as possible, Pessoa has accepted the suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency and will be out of action till March 4, 2021.



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