The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission is about to unveil the results of a secret investigation conducted by its staff over the past few months, CABMMA chairman Rafael Favetti broke the news to MMAFighting.com on Tuesday.
The Brazilian commission, which oversees promotions likes the UFC, Shooto Brazil, Max Fight, Face to Face, Nitrix FC, has discovered a series of frauds committed by a mixed martial arts gym and an undisclosed number of fighters. As a result, those fighters will likely be banned from the sport.
"The commission has been doing a secret investigation against frauds in medical exams provided by athletes in several gyms," Favetti told MMAFighting.com. "We got to a point where we’re possibly dealing with a criminal gang, a gang that has as its motto to fraud medical exams for MMA athletes.
"We contacted hospitals and labs, and they also didn’t know they were involved in this fraud," he continued. "They are desperate. Our next step is taking this to the police and the Brazilian government agency for law enforcement and prosecution of crimes."
Favetti can’t reveal yet who are involved in this case, but guarantees it doesn’t involve any UFC fighters.
"The investigation is over, and we’re now going to meet with the hospitals and labs and the police one more time," Favetti said. "We are the first athletic commission in the world to do an investigation like this. We checked every exam, talked to every doctor that signed medical reports, and the labs. We are really confident about this case."
Most of the Brazilian MMA promotions didn’t require many medical exams prior to an event in the past. After the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission was created and started regulating some of the shows, some fighters and coaches started to complain about the costs of doing so many tests before a fight. Apparently, one coach has decided to fix it by breaking the law.
"We ask for a number of medical exams, like HIV, hepatitis, CT scans. Our medical staff became suspicious when several exams, from different fighters and promotions, are very similar to other exams presented by other athletes in other promotions, so we started this secret investigation," Favetti said. "We went to the labs that did those exams, got the protocols, and checked which athlete did each test and provided it to the commission, and we ended up with three or four athletes from a same gym, from a same coach. They used fraudulent exams in several events.
"They thought we would never find out about this because they used different athletes in different promotions. In their heads, we would never find out. They didn’t expect us to go to every lab and talk to every doctor."
According to Favetti, all fighters involved in the case were immediately suspended by the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission, but weren’t contacted already so it wouldn’t damage the investigation.
"We will announce the names who are involved in this case really soon, right after we talk to the police and the Brazilian government agency for law enforcement," he said. "We will announce the names of the athletes and the gyms, and they will likely be banned from the sport.
"They are already indefinitely suspended. They will have the opportunity to defend themselves, but they will also be investigated for this crime by the police and the government. If their defense isn’t satisfactory -- and let’s be real, they can’t say anything about it, it’s clearly a fraud --, they will be disaffiliated.
"(CABMMA COO) Cristiano Sampaio just left the last meeting with the last doctor. He called and said ‘it’s definitely a fraud. It’s a fraud’. We will announce it as soon as they are criminally charged by the government."