UFC Fighter Cynthia Calvillo Accepts 6 Month USADA Suspension for Marijuana Violation

Update March 13, 2018 Today the NSAC issued their punishment for this infraction handing Calvillo a 9 month suspension and a $6,150 fine (15% of her reported purse).

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Cynthia Calvillo’s in competition sample at UFC 219 in Las Vegas tested positive for Carboxy-THC with a concentration above the limit of 180 ng/mL.  Cannabinoids are banned in-competition under the UFC’s custom tailored anti-doping policy administered by USADA.

Listed as a ‘specified substance’ the default suspension for this violation is a one year period of ineligibility.  USADA and Calvillo reached a deal with the fighter accepting a 6 month suspension instead which could be reduced to 3 months with “the satisfactory completion of a USADA-approved drug awareness and management program.”.

Calvillo is still subject to disciplinary action by the Nevada State Athletic Commission who historically have frowned upon in-competition marijuana violations but in recent years have publicly contemplated removing cannabinoids from the list of banned substances.

USADA’s full press release detailing Calvillo’s policy violation reads as follows:

USADA announced today that UFC® athlete Cynthia Calvillo, of Sacramento, Calif., has accepted a six-month sanction for her anti-doping policy violation.

Calvillo, 30, tested positive for Carboxy-THC, the pharmacologically-active metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish, above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL, stemming from an in-competition sample collected on December 30, 2017, at UFC 219 in Las Vegas, Nev. Marijuana and hashish are in the class of Cannabinoids and prohibited in-competition under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Cannabinoids are listed as Specified Substances on the WADA Prohibited List. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the standard sanction for an anti-doping policy violation involving a Specified Substance is a one-year period of ineligibility, which may be reduced depending on the athlete’s degree of fault.

Calvillo accepted a six-month period of ineligibility, which began on December 30, 2017, and may be reduced to a three-month period of ineligibility, pending the satisfactory completion of a USADA-approved drug awareness and management program. Calvillo’s positive test also falls under the jurisdiction of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which may impose additional sanctions, including fines or a period of ineligibility that is longer than the period set forth above.

Pursuant to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, all UFC athletes serving a period of ineligibility for an anti-doping policy violation are required to continue to make themselves available for testing in order to receive credit for time completed under their sanction.

USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. In an effort to aid UFC athletes, as well as their support team members, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on the UFC Anti-Doping Program website (https://ufc.USADA.org) regarding the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (https://ufc.globaldro.com), conducts educational sessions, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, and periodic athlete alerts.

USADA also makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sport in an effort to protect clean athletes and promote clean competition. Any tip can be reported using the USADA Play Clean Tip Center, by email at playclean@usada.org, by phone at 1‑877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253) or by mail.

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