Update December 22, 2016 – Cyborg has now published a full statement admitting the substance in question is Spironolactone, a diuretic and masking agent that is prohibited at all times (ie both and and out of competition) by the UFC/USADA anti doping policy.
Cyborg admitted that she has been on this drug since September 26, 2016. She has apparently not applied for a Therapuetic Use Exemption prior to testing positive. Given her admission that she has been on the drug since September it is hard to imagine how she has exercised any reasonable level of diligence.
Cyborg claims that her doctor “is experienced with USADA testing and informed me there were no additional steps needed for approval with the associated treatments”.
This is not an excuse that will carry any weight. USADA will be quick to remind her that it is her job to be familiar with which substances are prohibited and seeking legal advice from a doctor is not a reasonable excuse.
Lastly Cyborg states she “already started the process of applying for a retroactive therapeutic use exemption”. As stated below USADA can indeed grant a retroactive TUE. To be granted a TUE in the first place she will need to meet the following test:
a. The Athlete would experience a significant impairment to health if the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method were to be withheld in the course of treating an acute or chronic medical condition.
b. The Therapeutic Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method would produce no additional enhancement of performance other than that which might be anticipated by a return to a state of normal health following the treatment of a legitimate medical condition. The Use of any Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method to increase “lownormal” levels of any endogenous hormone is not considered an acceptable Therapeutic intervention.
c. There is no reasonable Therapeutic alternative to the Use of the otherwise Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method.
d. The necessity for the Use of the otherwise Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method cannot be a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior Use, without a TUE, of a substance or method which was prohibited at the time of Use.
If Cyborg produces medical evidence to meet the above test her burden is not yet over. While section 4.4.4 of the UFC/USADA Anti-Doping Policy allows for retroactive TUE’s it is not a rubber stamp process. According to USADA’s website
An application for a TUE will only be considered for retroactive approval where:
a. Emergency treatment or treatment of an acute medical condition was necessary; or
b. Due to other exceptional circumstances, there was insufficient time or opportunity for the Athlete to submit, or for the TUEC to consider, an application for the TUE prior to Sample collection; or
c. It is agreed, by WADA and by the Anti-Doping Organization to whom the application for a retroactive TUE is or would be made, that fairness requires the grant of a retroactive TUE.
Her only hope rests on ground “c” that “fairness requires” it. Even if all the above tests can be met Cyborg will still be in hot water for failing to disclose her use of this substance when the doping control officer came to collect her sample (as evidenced by her excuse blaming her doctor for saying ‘no additional steps’ were needed).
Bottom line – its a very safe bet Cyborg will be facing suspension when all the dust settles.
Today the UFC announced Cris “Cyborg” Justino has been notified of a potential anti doping violation stemming from an out of competition test.
The promotion published the following bare bones press release:
The UFC organization was formally notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on December 5, 2016.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed.
Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Cyborg’s camp was quick to reply suggesting she is on prescription medication treating harmful effects from her last rapid extreme weight cut.
It is worth noting that if this is actually the case USADA does have the discretion to grant retroactive ‘therapeutic use exemptions’ under the UFC’s anti doping policy. There are too few facts publicly available right now to predict exactly how this will shape out.