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USADA officially suspends Gleison Tibau for two years

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Gleison Tibau's suspension is official.

USADA announced Thursday that it has suspended the UFC lightweight veteran for two years for failing both in- and out-of-competition drug tests in the fall. Tibau tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) in both tests, USADA said.

The Brazilian told MMA Fighting earlier this week that he had dropped his appeal and would accept the USADA sanctioning.

Tibau, 32, defeated Abel Trujillo via first-round submission at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3 on Nov. 7, 2015. That win will be overturned into a loss, according to the USADA release. The bout happened in Sao Paulo, Brazil and USADA said that the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA), which holds jurisdiction there, will recognize the USADA sanction.

A CABMMA official said that Tibau will now be handed a loss in that bout and Trujillo is granted a win.

The first positive test came from an out-of-competition sample taken Oct. 23 in Coconut Creek, Fla., and the second the day of Tibau's fight in Brazil, USADA said. Tibau's suspension is retroactive to Nov. 7, 2015.

Tibau admitted he used EPO earlier this week and said he dropped the appeal because of the time and cost.

"They asked me if I wanted to appeal, but it was too tiresome," he said. "Three months of meetings at the court, that's tiring. I don't want to appeal anymore. I'm done. I expected it to be easier, but that demands a lot from you mentally, physically and financially. If I wanted to continue the appeal, I would have to pay all the court costs from now on, I would have to pay my lawyer, and the suspension would probably go down only three or six months, I don't know, so I decided not to appeal."

USADA describes EPO as "a synthetic hormone used to stimulate the body's production of red blood cells, thereby increasing oxygen transport and aerobic power."

Tibau (33-12) has been in the UFC for 10 years. He's accumulated a 17-9 record for the promotion and is one of the winningest lightweights in UFC history.

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