Another one bites the dust … potentially. The UFC has announced bantamweight Francisco Rivera (pictured) is facing at least a two-year suspension after getting flagged for a potential anti-doping violation in an out-of-competition drug test.
“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Francisco Rivera of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on July 23, 2016,” the UFC expressed in a statement.
“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
If found guilty, any suspension levied on Rivera would be retroactive to July 23, 2016, the date of his failed random drug exam.
The UFC partnered with the USADA to conduct year-round, in- (six hours before and after fights) and out-of-competition drug testing on all UFC fighters in July 2015. The screenings included urine and blood.
Under the UFC’s new policy, first-time offenders for performance-enhancing drug will receive a two-year ban, four years with “aggravating circumstance.” The suspension is doubled for the second offense and double of the second penalty on the third offense.
Marijuana and other recreational drugs will only be tested in-competition. These failed screenings will result in a one-year suspension, two years for aggravating circumstance. The suspension is doubled for the second offense and double of the second penalty on the third offense.
Rivera’s days in the UFC might be over, even if he finds a way to beat the charges. “Cisco” has dropped five of his past six fights, including three straight.
Desperate times calls for desperate measures, I guess.