Here we go again… On Thursday, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed the UFC that Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino (pictured) has been flagged for a “potential” anti-doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition drug test administered on December 5.
“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case,” the UFC expressed in an official statement. “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.
“Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
The USADA did not disclose what banned substance(s) was discovered in Justino’s system. That will come out at a later date when the 31-year-old stands before the athletic commission.
Despite many years of speculation, this marks just the second time Justino has flunked a drug exam. The buff Brazilian tested positive for stanozolol metabolites in December 2011 after her landslide victory over Hiroko Yamanaka.
Justino was suspended one year, fined $2,500 and had the win overturned to a no contest.
This positive screening comes at a critical time, as the UFC announced just nine days ago they are finally launching a women’s featherweight division. Former bantamweight champ Holly Holm will battle Germaine de Randamie to become the UFC’s inaugural 145-pound champ at UFC 208.
Justino was initially offered the opportunity, but declined because she needed more time to recover from September’s weight cut in plastering Lina Länsberg in a 140-pound catchweight contest.
Under the UFC’s drug 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 are 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.