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USADA won’t sanction UFC’s Li Jingliang in clenbuterol case

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Li Jingliang will face no sanctions from USADA after testing positive for clenbuterol.

The UFC fighter tested positive for the substance in a May 18 out-of-competition drug test, but the UFC's anti-doping partner found no fault or negligence on his part, USADA announced in a release Friday. A USADA investigation found that Jingliang likely ingested the prohibited substance unknowingly into contaminated meat.

Clenbuterol is routinely found in meat in Mexico and China, according to a warning sent out by WADA in 2011. Jingliang is a native of China. After looking at his dietary habits, whereabouts and the fact that there was a very low parts per billion amount of clenbuterol in his system, USADA cleared Jingliang of any sanctions.

Jingliang (11-4) also passed an in-competition test in relation to his victory over Anton Zafir at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale on July in Las Vegas.

The welterweight fighter is not out of the woods yet. Because of the May 18 sample collection's proximity to that fight, he is still under the jurisdiction of the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC), which temporarily suspended him last month for the positive test. The NAC can still suspend and fine Jingliang even if USADA does not. The result of his win over Zafir can also be overturned to a no contest by the NAC.

Jingliang, 28, is one of four UFC fighters to recently test positive for clenbuterol. USADA found no fault for Ning Guangyou of China and Augusto Montano of Mexico in their cases and they will not face sanctions.

USADA is still currently investigating Francisco Rivera's situation. Rivera tested positive for clenbuterol after a vacation to Mexico, but was still provisionally suspended by USADA unlike Jingliang, Guangyou and Montano. Rivera believes he might have ingested the drug through contaminated meat.

Clenbuterol is clinically used in some countries to treat breathing disorders. It is a fat-burning drug that promotes muscle preservation. Farmers in countries like Mexico and China use it to beef up livestock.

Jingliang is 3-2 in the UFC with knockouts of Zafir and Dhiego Lima on is résumé.

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