According to the UFC, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino has been informed of a potential anti-doping violation by USADA.
The reported sample came from an out of competition test on December 5.
Rumors of steroid use have long dogged Cyborg due to a seemingly rapid gain in muscle mass since her debut and her constant shifting between weight classes. The rumors were confirmed when she tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol after her 16 second knockout win over Hiroko Yamanaka in 2011.
Ronda Rousey has been a vocal critic of Cyborg ever since, refusing to grant Cyborg a fight until she was confirmed to be steroid free.
Dana White had confirmed ahead of Rousey’s return at UFC 207 that if she regained the Bantamweight title, she was guaranteed to defend the title against Cyborg. Now that possible dream match up seems unlikely for the near future if Cyborg is indeed found guilty of abusing performance enhancing substances.
USADA testing history shows that Cyborg has been test 14 times since she joined the testing program upon joining the UFC roster, and had been tested twice in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, according to SB Nation’s Luke Thomas.
More on this as it develops.
Cyborg quickly issued a statement on the matter, stating that the violation stems from a medication she is taking to recover from the extreme weight cut down to 140, as she usually fights at the Featherweight max of 145.
Cyborg has been calling for UFC to introduce a women’s Featherweight division so that she and other 145 pound fighters don’t harm themselves to cut down to 135. Fans and UFC alike have been hesitant to introduce the division, as Cyborg would likely be the only serious contender in the division.
USADA has banned numerous recovery drugs and methods to discourage fighters from drastic last minute weight cuts, with the most recent being the outlawing of intravenous re-hydration, though there are pills that yield similar results and may contain a banned substance.
Updates as EVEN MORE information becomes available.