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Michinori Tanaka issued nine-month suspension for failed drug test at UFC Fight Night 52

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

UFC bantamweight Michinori Tanaka has been issued a nine-month suspension after testing positive for two banned substances in a pre-fight urine test prior to his split decision loss against Kyung Ho Kang at UFC Fight Night 52, promotion officials announced on Tuesday.

Tanaka, 24, tested positive for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, both of which are stimulants commonly found in over-the-counter medication but are banned by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines.

"Accepting the accuracy of the test result, Tanaka has admitted to taking over-the-counter allergy medication prior to the fight, likely causing the positive result, and acknowledges the illegal substances were in his system," the UFC stated. "Consequently, Tanaka agreed to a nine-month suspension from unarmed combat competition. He must pass a drug test at the conclusion of his suspension in order to return to competition."

In keeping with the UFC's usual policy for international events staged in a region without an athletic governing body, the promotion conducted its own pre- and post-fight drug testing for the Sept. 20 event, which took place in Saitama, Japan.

Tanaka (10-1) also forfeited the $50,000 'Fight of the Night' bonus he earned in defeat against Hang.

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