USADA flags Diego Brandao for marijuana in-competition out of UFC 195 loss to Brian Ortega

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

A bad start to 2016 just got worse for Diego Brandao, as the UFC revealed on Friday that the Brazilian has been flagged for marijuana metabolites out of his loss to Brian Ortega at UFC 195.

Brandao’s sample came back above the threshold of 180 ng/ml in an “in-competition” test conducted by USADA as part of their on-going anti-doping efforts with the UFC.

Here’s the organization’s statement on Brandao’s positive test:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed Diego Brandao of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation involving Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannabinol (“Carboxy-THC”) which is a metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish, above the decision limit of 180 ng/mL, stemming from an in-competition sample collected following his fight on January 2, 2016 in Las Vegas.

USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Brandao, as it relates to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and future UFC participation. Because the Nevada State Athletic Commission was the regulatory body overseeing the fight in Las Vegas and has state licensing and jurisdiction over Brandao, USADA will work to ensure that the Commission has the necessary information to determine its proper judgment of Brandao’s potential anti-doping violation. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.

Brandao was submitted by Ortega in the third round of their bout in Las Vegas, snapping a two-fight winning streak in the UFC’s featherweight division.

Penick’s Analysis: As a first-time offender, Brandao faces a suspension of one year for the marijuana failure, so he’ll miss the entirety of 2016. It’s still questionable that it’s something tested for to begin with, and without showing the presence of the psychoactive chemical of marijuana in his system it’s not as if he was competing high. Still, he didn’t stop far enough away from fight night to avoid getting flagged, and as the rules are set now that’s unfortunately on him.

[Photo (c) Joshua Dahl via USA Today Sports]

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