Yoel Romero has been handed a six-month suspension by USADA on Monday. The UFC’s anti-doping partner made the announcement via their website.
“USADA announced today that UFC athlete, Yoel Romero, of Miami, Florida, has accepted a 6-month sanction for an anti-doping policy violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance from a contaminated supplement,” the official announcement said.
The UFC middleweight contender tested positive for Ibutamoren in December. USADA describes Ibutamoren as a “Growth Hormone Secretagogue and a prohibited substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”
The 38-year-old claimed that the performance-enhancing drug came from a contaminated substance. He was initially offered a nine-month suspension but he rejected it. The two parties finally agreed to a six-month suspension.
“This case clearly demonstrates some of the dangers inherent to supplement use,” USADA’s Special Advisor on Drugs and Supplements Dr. Amy Eichner said in the release. “When considering whether to incorporate supplements into a training plan, it is vitally important that athletes exercise the upmost care in order to avoid making a decision that could endanger their eligibility, reputation or general health and wellness.”
According to a report by MMA Fighting, Yoel Romero is planning to take legal action against the supplement company. The company is yet to be named.
In a statement released by Yoel, he thanked his family, friends, teammates and friends for supporting him through the ordeal.
“I would like to thank my family, friends, teammates and fans for sticking by me through this ordeal,” Romero said. “With that said, yesterday I agreed to a sanction of 6 months suspension for taking a supplement 5 days after my last win that USADA has confirmed was indeed tainted. My management team and I will be pursuing legal action against the supplement company within the next few weeks. For those of you that believed me, I thank you. For the ones that didn’t, I hope I have given you a reason to believe in hard work. As for the ones that tried to ruin my name, we will meet very soon. #ynuevo”
Since Romero’s ineligibility began on Jan 12, 2016, he can return back in the Octagon in June.