On Friday, the United States Anti-Doping Association announced that they have cleared UFC fighter Cris “Cyborg” Justino of potential violations of the UFC’s anti-doping policy. Justino was provisionally suspended in December 2016 for a positive drug test test, but that suspension has now been lifted.
In the announcement, USADA noted that they conducted a thorough investigation into the positive out-of-competition test that happened in December. Justino came forth and noted that she was using the drug spironolactone to treat a medical condition under the advice and prescription of her doctor. They also noted that she was fully cooperative with the investigation, and allowed herself and her doctor to be interviewed by the investigating committee.
Spironolactone, the drug that Cyborg tested positive for, is a diuretic that is commonly used in masking steroid use. The drug is prohibited at all times under UFC’s anti-doping policy.
As a part of the announcement, USADA also noted that Justino has submitted an application for a Therapeutic Use Exemption for the drug and they have granted a retroactive approval of same.
“In the case of Justino, the application for a TUE was granted because the athlete had an unequivocally diagnosed chronic medical condition for which the use of Spironolactone is the appropriate standard of care.”
“Further, it was determined that the athlete and her medical team pursued and exhausted all non-prohibited alternatives and that the low dose of the medication is consistent with best medical practice to treat her condition and would return the athlete to a normal state of health without providing a performance-enhancing benefit.”
Because Justino’s TUE application was granted retroactively, her provisional suspension has been lifted with immediate effect and her positive test will not result in an anti-doping policy violation. However, as a condition of the TUE approval, Justino will be required to continue to carefully document her medical care and must apply for a TUE renewal in advance of TUE expiry should she wish to maintain compliance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”
This news could clear the way for Cyborg to face new women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie. De Randamie defeated Holly Holm at UFC 208 by unanimous decision to win the championship last weekend. De Randamie has indicated that she requires surgery on her hand, and also noted that she felt her first defense should be against Holm. This led to many saying that she fears Justino, but de Randamie has asserted that is not the case.