Cris “Cyborg” Justino (pictured) didn’t fight today, but she’s is a big winner, nonetheless. On Friday, the USADA, the independent agency the UFC hired to drug test their fighters year-round, granted the Invicta FC featherweight champion a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to clear her from December’s flunked drug test.
Justino registered positive for the banned substance Spironolactone during an out-of-competition urine test administered on December 5, 2016. Spironolactone is considered a diuretic and masking agent.
Immediately after her positive test came to light, Justino stated she was under medical treatment from her doctor as she was trying to recover from September’s arduous weight cut to make a 140-pound catchweight contest against Lina Länsberg.
At the time, Justino didn’t disclose the substance that was discovered in her system, but was adamant that it wasn’t a performance-enhancing drug. Justino was suspended one year, fined $2,500 and had her landslide win against Hiroko Yamanaka overturned to a no contest after testing positive for stanozolol metabolites in 2011.
“After a thorough investigation of the circumstances that preceded her positive test, which included a comprehensive review of Justino’s documented medical history, USADA accepted Justino’s explanation that her use of Spironolactone began in late September, following her bout at UFC Fight Night Brasilia, and was in accordance with her physician’s recommendation for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition,” the UFC expressed. “Nonetheless, because Spironolactone is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, USADA advised Justino that her use of the medication without a valid TUE violated the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Accordingly, Justino applied for a TUE to authorize her use of the medication, with retroactive effect.”
The provisional suspension the USADA initially issued Justino has been lifted after being granted a retroactive TUE. The Brazilian can resume her fighting career immediately.
This news couldn’t come at a better time for the UFC. They crowned their inaugural featherweight champion last Saturday when Germaine de Randamie took a controversial unanimous decision win over Holly Holm. UFC president Dana White was thoroughly disappointed in UFC 208’s main event by stating the women didn’t deliver the goods.
Now, the world’s top 145-pound female can compete for the ceremonial crown that she’s theoretically donned for years.