Junior Dos Santos, Rogerio Nogueira Free to Fight After USADA Investigation Into Tainted Supplements

Junior Dos Santos and two more UFC fighters were involved in an extensive investigation from USADA regarding tainted supplements

Junior dos Santos, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Marcos Rogerio de Lima are cleared to fight again after being embroiled in a months long investigation by USADA as the anti-doping agency was looking into contaminated supplements coming out of Brazil.

In 2017, Dos Santos, Nogueira and de Lima all returned positive drug tests that pulled them from upcoming fights in the UFC.

That led to an investigation by USADA into the supplements the fighters were taking, which then resulted in pharmacies in Brazil being busted for producing contaminated products.

According to USADA, the problem stemmed from ‘compounding pharmacies’, which unlike retail drug stores getting products directly from a manufacturer, these pharmacies actually receive the ingredients for medications and then mix them onsite.

These pharmacies located in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, Brazil, also mixed their own supplements and sold them as a safe alternative to mass produced products while claiming they utilized “manufacturing processes designed to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination.”

“Despite their claims, the compounding pharmacies, located in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil, sold contaminated supplements to Junior dos Santos and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who each tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, and Marcos Rogerio de Lima, who tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide and anastrozole,” USADA officials wrote in a statement on Monday.

“Through an ongoing investigation, USADA independently sourced supplements from the compounding pharmacies, which the Salt Lake City laboratory confirmed were also contaminated with hydrochlorothiazide, anastrozole, and several additional prohibited substances.”

According to USADA, all of the fighters involved in the investigation are now cleared to return to action.

“Following USADA’s investigation, Almeida, De Lima, and Nogueira, who all used compounded supplements at the direction of their respective physicians or nutritionists, each accepted reduced six-month periods of ineligibility that ended upon the resolution of their cases. As such, the athletes are immediately eligible to return to competition,” USADA officials wrote.

All three athletes were unable to compete after being flagged for positive drug tests last year. Dos Santos missed out on a fight against Francis Ngannou while Nogueir was pulled from a matchup against Jared Cannonier. Meanwhile, de Lima was expected to face Saparbek Safarov last September until he missed out on fighting due to the positive drug test.

USADA will continue to work with Brazilian authorities to investigate these compounding pharmacies after this latest debacle adversely affected three UFC fighters who were unable to compete until this situation was resolved.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.