UFC Fighter Ion Cutelaba Accepts Six Month Suspension for Doping Violation

Ion Cutelaba has been suspended for six months by USADA after violating the UFC's anti-doping policy

Light heavyweight competitor Ion Cutelaba has accepted a six month suspension from USADA after violating the UFC’s anti-doping policy.

According to USADA, Cutelaba actually disclosed a treatment on his doping paperwork last October that was flagged as a potential violation of the UFC anti-doping policy. Further investigation proved that Cutelaba had received an illegal treatment but due to his voluntary admission along with information received from his doctor, USADA opted to lessen his sentence from two years down to six months.

“Cutelaba, 24, declared the use of ozone therapy on his doping control paperwork during out-of-competition tests conducted on October 18, 2017, and October 19, 2017. Ozone therapy is a treatment that can be administered in a variety of methods, some of which are prohibited under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy,” USADA officials wrote in a statement.

“Based on Cutelaba’s doping control paperwork, USADA contacted the athlete to request more information about the route of administration in order to establish whether the treatment was permissible. Cutelaba’s physician subsequently provided documentation indicating that the treatment was administered on October 3, 2017, and October 17, 2017, in a prohibited manner, as it involved a blood transfusion. The WADA Prohibited List prohibits the administration or reintroduction of blood or red blood cell products of any origin or quantity in the circulatory system, unless a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption has been obtained. While Cutelaba was unaware of the violation and declared the treatment on his doping control paperwork, he was unable to refute the documentation provided.”

Because of his admission about that particular therapy on his doping paperwork, Cutelaba had his sentence reduced and his period of ineligibility started on Nov. 3, 2017 when he was provisionally suspended from the sport.

That means Cutelaba will be eligible to return to action as early as May 3, 2018.

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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.