Today USADA announced that “UFC athlete, George Sullivan, of Red Bank, N.J., has accepted a one-year sanction for an anti-doping policy violation after declaring the use of a prohibited substance contained in a product that was inaccurately labeled.”
Sullivan “declared the use of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) on his sample collection paperwork when describing his use of a deer antler velvet product during an out-of-competition test conducted on July 13, 2016”
Although “Sullivan did not test positive for any prohibited substances” his admission of use was enough to trigger an anti-doping policy violation (a reality that was previously demonstrated by Mirko Filipovic).
The substance in question, Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), is banned at all times under the UFC/USADA anti-doping policy and calls for a 2 year suspension. USADA, however, exercised their discretion relying on Sullivan’s ‘forthright declaration‘ and cut the punishment in half providing the following reasons:
Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete’s period of ineligibility for using a prohibited substance may be decreased if the athlete lacks significant fault for the anti-doping policy violation. In this instance, USADA determined that Sullivan’s reduced degree of fault and his forthright declaration of the product at issue justified a reduction to one year from the maximum two-year period of ineligibility.
Sullivan’s one-year period of ineligibility began on January 31, 2016, the day after his most recent UFC bout.
This result may be good news for Lloyto Machida who is still awaiting his fate after voluntarily disclosing the use of a prohibited product during an out of competition test.