Welterweight fighter George Sullivan has been suspended for one year following a positive drug test returned in January as administered by USADA, who handles the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
It was actually the second anti-doping policy violation for Sullivan, who had previously been suspended for a year after he admitted use of another banned substance called Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 in 2016.
This time around, Sullivan tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolite, 4-hydroxyclomiphene following an out-of-competition sample that was collected on Jan. 14 this year. Clomiphene is a banned substance and prohibited at all times under WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) rules, which have been adapted by the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
According to USADA, Sullivan immediately identified the banned substance from a prescription fertility medication he was given by his physician.
“After a thorough review of the case, including the examination of medical records provided by the athlete, USADA confirmed that Sullivan’s positive test was caused by Clomiphene Citrate, which he was using in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician to treat a medical condition,” USADA officials said in a statement on Tuesday. “The prescribed use of the medication by Sullivan is considered an ‘off-label’ treatment, as Clomiphene Citrate is not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for use by males.
“In this instance, USADA determined that Sullivan’s degree of fault was reduced because his use of Clomiphene Citrate was under the care of his physician for a documented medical condition. Accordingly, Sullivan received a reduction to one year from the standard two-year period of ineligibility that could have been imposed for a second offense involving a Specified Substance.”
Ultimately, USADA suspended Sullivan for one year dating back to the time of his test, which means he will be eligible to return to the UFC on January 14, 2018.
Sullivan was originally scheduled to return at UFC 208 earlier this year before the drug test results forced him off the card. Now it appears his career will be able to resume in 2018 after he serves the remaining time on his current suspension.