Cris “Cyborg” Justino (pictured) is under the impression that her good name will be cleared after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the independent organization the UFC hired to conduct year-round drug testing on their entire roster, discuss her therapeutic treatment with her doctor.
While Justino appears to have a reasonable explanation for flunking her second drug test in five years, the Invicta FC featherweight champion and her team dropped the ball big time – especially since she was just popped for steroids in 2011.
After September’s arduous weight cut to make a 140-pound catchweight contest against Lina Länsberg, Justino revealed her doctor started her on a therapeutic treatment containing the banned substance Spironolactone just two days after blasting Länsberg.
Her doctor placed her on a medical suspension, avoiding “competition style training or weight cutting practices” during the 90-day treatment. Justino says that’s why she declined the UFC’s multiple offers to compete for their inaugural featherweight title on February 11.
Now, let’s look at the blunders that got Justino here:
Justino was tested 11 times by the USADA in 2016. The December 5 drug test is the only one that was conducted randomly, during an out-of-competition period and, coincidentally, that’s the only one to return positive.
It was at that point Justino decided to reveal she was on a doctor-prescribed therapeutic treatment that required the use of a banned substance.
The kicker is, Justino claims her doctor is “experienced with USADA testing and informed me there were no additional steps needed for approval with the associated treatments given to me following my UFC Brasilia fight.”
If her doctor is so experienced with USADA, why didn’t she request a therapeutic use exemption for her patient for the banned substance prior to getting caught?
Oh yeah, about that TUE thing…
Justino says, after testing positive, that they have “already started the process of applying for a retroactive therapeutic use exemption.”
“Already started”? As in, just now?
“Retroactive”? As in, I didn’t do my due diligence, got busted and am now trying to follow the proper protocol?
Why not be transparent with the USADA from the jump?
Now Justino faces a lengthy back-and-forth battle with USADA and could be suspended for who knows how long, while far inferior featherweights battle for the UFC belt that everybody knows should be hers.
There’s no denying Justino’s body has taken a beating from her two weight cuts in the UFC. Entering a doctor-prescribed treatment to recover from the trauma just 48 hours after destroying Länsberg is solid proof of that, as if this video didn’t already provide enough concrete evidence:
However, for a fighter whose entire career has a PED cloud looming over it, in a sport where her peers have stated “everyone’s on steroids,” every i should have been dotted and every t should have been crossed – well before getting caught.