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Ashlee Evans-Smith fined, suspended nine months for failed UFC 181 drug test

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Women's bantamweight fighter Ashlee Evans-Smith was issued a nine-month suspension retroactive to Dec. 6 for her failed UFC 181 post-fight drug test at a Tuesday meeting of the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC).

Evans-Smith, 27, tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorizide following her first-round submission loss to Raquel Pennington on Dec. 6 at UFC 181. The fight marked Evans-Smith's UFC debut, which she accepted on short notice due to a late dropout by Pennington's original opponent Holly Holm.

Neither Evans-Smith, nor a representative for her appeared at Tuesday's meeting to explain her side of the failed test.

Hydrochlorizide is a banned substance according to the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list. Diuretics are commonly used to assist fighters in cutting weight. Hydrochlorothiazide, in particular, is known as a prescription diuretic used to also treat high blood pressure and fluid prevention, among other uses.

Nevada deputy attorney general Christopher Eccles noted that Evans-Smith was 20 pounds over the 135-pound bantamweight limit two weeks out from her fight against Pennington, and 10 pounds overweight at the start of the following week.

In addition to being retroactively suspended, Evans-Smith was fined 30-percent of her $8,000 purse ($2,400) and will be required to submit to a NAC sanctioned drug test at her own expense prior to re-applying for a license to fight in Nevada.

Evans-Smith's manager, Mike McLeish, told MMAFighting.com following the initial news of the failed test that all of Evans-Smith's supplements are "protein or flower- and plant-based," and questioned the NAC's motives for electing to pursue Evans-Smith while UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones received no punishment for his failed out-of-competition UFC 182 drug test for cocaine metabolites.

"It's not performance-enhancing or anything," McLeish said in January of Evans-Smith's results. "I don't understand why they're talking about her doing diuretics, but Jon Jones did cocaine and nothing is happening to him. Cocaine is OK, because it's out of competition? He was in training camp."