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UFC lightweight Carlos Diego Ferreira suspended 12 months for failed drug test

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) sentenced UFC lightweight Carlos Diego Ferreira to a 12-month suspension on Tuesday stemming from a positive drug test for the banned substance Ostarine ahead of his planned UFC Fight Night 88 bout against Abel Trujillo. The suspension is retroactive to April 30.

Ferreira, 31, tested positive for Ostarine in an out-of-competition drug test conducted by USADA. He was subsequently pulled from his fight against Trujillo. Ostarine is defined within the class of SARMS (selective androgen receptor modulators), which often carry many of the same benefits as anabolic steroids.

Ferreira professed his innocence during a Tuesday hearing with the commission, however those claims fell on deaf ears. The NAC voted unanimously to suspend him, but decided against issuing a fine as well, as Ferreira did not receive a fight purse once the bout fell through. Ferreira will also be required to provide a clean testing sample prior to receiving re-licensure.

It is interesting to note that Ferreira's is not the first case of a UFC fighter testing positive for Ostarine. UFC welterweight Tim Means recently tested positive for the same substance in a USADA drug test, however his tests were found to be the result of a tainted supplement and his suspension was reduced to six months.

Ferreira indicated on Tuesday that he turned over all of his supplements to USADA for testing, but that USADA was still "working on it" in regards to the results. That did not stop the NAC from issuing its suspension, however.

Ferreira has won three of his five UFC fights since entering the UFC as the Legacy FC lightweight champion in 2014. The first two of those wins -- finishes over Colton Smith and Ramsey Nijem -- earned Ferreira performance bonuses. In his most recent outing, Ferreira rebounded from the first back-to-back losses of his career to score a unanimous decision victory over Canadian prospect Olivier Aubin-Mercier.

Ferreira will be allowed to return to active competition on April 30, 2017.