Photos: Stephen R. Sylvanie/Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports / Screenshot/YouTube

Brazilian doctor who helped Paulo Costa suspended by USADA for 2 YEARS

"[He] was entrusted to help athletes make safe and informed decisions, but instead, he violated anti-doping rules..."

Usually fighters are the ones who receive lengthy suspensions by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, but an exception was recently witnessed. A two year suspension has been issued a Brazilian doctor by USADA, following an unauthorised use of an IV. The Doctor, Lucas Penchel, assisted UFC middleweight Paulo Costa with an IV over the allowed limit. USADA recently issued a statement concerning the suspension for the Brazilian doctor.

“Dr. Lucas Penchel, of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has accepted a two-year sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (UFC ADP) resulting from his complicity in the administration and use of over-limit intravenous (IV) infusions of permitted substances on June 2, 2017 and November 3, 2017 by Carlos Costa and Paulo Costa, respectively,” USADA officials wrote in the statement (via MMA Fighting).

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There were two occasions in 2017, ahead of UFC 212 and UFC 217, in which the Dr. Penchel “recommended and prescribed” the prohibited IV infusions. The now suspended Brazilian doctor will not be able to work as “manager, coach, trainer, second, corner man, agent, or medical personnel” until after March 17, 2022.

“Dr. Penchel, like all athlete support personnel, was entrusted to help athletes make safe and informed decisions, but instead, he violated anti-doping rules and his oath to best protect athletes’ health and safety,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement.

Both fights in which Costa utilised the IV resulted in TKO wins for the Brazilian middleweight. At UFC 212 he finished Nigerian Oluwale Bamgbose in the second round. At UFC 217 he faced former UFC champ Johny Hendricks, winning via TKO in the second round once more. Hendricks retired from MMA after the loss.

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