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USADA Suspends Francisco Rivera For Four Years

January 20, 2018 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Francisco Rivera

MMA Junkie reports that Francisco Rivera has been suspended by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for four years. He’s only the second fighter to get a four-year suspension since UFC started working with USADA. The case and suspension were reviewed by an independent arbitrator. He tested positive for clenbuterol during an out-of-competition urine sample collected on July 23, 2016.

USADA said in a statement: “After a thorough investigation into the circumstances of Rivera’s case, USADA concluded that the clenbuterol levels detected in his sample were inconsistent with what could be expected from meat contamination. Furthermore, Rivera was unable to provide independently verifiable evidence to support his claim that he had traveled to Northern Mexico and ingested meat in the days leading up to the relevant sample collection. Thereafter, Rivera opted to have his case submitted to a neutral arbitrator for resolution.

In advance of the arbitration hearing, USADA’s ongoing investigation revealed that several pieces of evidence presented by Rivera to USADA and the arbitrator had been falsified to support the athlete’s claims that the substance had originated from contaminated meat in Mexico.

Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, deceitful or obstructive conduct intended to avoid the detection or adjudication of an anti-doping policy violation may be regarded as aggravating circumstances, which can lead to an increased period of ineligibility. In this case, the independent arbitrator concluded that Rivera’s conduct warranted an increase from the standard two-year period of ineligibility for a first offense, to the maximum four-year period of ineligibility due to aggravating circumstances.

Since his ineligibility period began on August 17, 2016, he won’t be eligible to fight again until 2020. His last fight was at UFC 201 in July 2016, a unanimous decision loss to Erik Perez. He’s on a three-fight losing streak. He previously said he was a free agent in December 2017, so it’s possible he could try to fight in regions where USADA holds no sway.

You can find more information on the ruling here.

article topics :

Francisco Rivera, USADA, Joseph Lee