Going to arbitration did not end up helping Felipe Olivieri.
After having his USADA case heard by an independent arbitrator, the UFC lightweight was suspended two years for an anti-doping violation, USADA announced Wednesday. Olivieri’s case was heard in front of one arbitrator from McLaren Global Sports Solutions, who ruled that Olivieri “failed to provide an acceptable explanation” for his positive test. Olivieri is only the second UFC fighter to go to arbitration in a USADA case, following Jon Jones.
Olivieri tested positive for methyltestosterone metabolites in an out-of-competition drug test stemming from a sample collected Jan. 11, 2016. The banned agents carried a two-year maximum suspension. Olivieri’s suspension is retroactive to March 10, 2016, the day he was provisionally suspended. He is eligible to return to the Octagon in March 2018.
Olivieri, 30, argued in front of the arbitrator that chain of custody had been broken in his sample collection, that the Rio Laboratory contaminated the sample and that the lab had lost its WADA accreditation last year. The arbitrator ruled that the first two claims could not be proven and the latter — the loss of WADA accreditation — was not the case until June 2016, three months after Olivieri’s sample was analyzed.
“A suspension some three months later of the laboratory’s accreditation does not mean that the sample analysis in March was incorrect or flawed,” the arbitrator, Richard H. McLaren, wrote.
The full arbitration decision can be read below.
The eight-week gap in between sample collection and analysis “falls within the normal range” of six-to-eight weeks, USADA spokesperson Ryan Madden told MMA Fighting. Madden added that the timing before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio could have contributed to that time since it was likely that Rio Laboratory was very busy.
Methlytestosterone is an androgenic-anabolic steroid that works much in the same way that natural testosterone does.
Olivieri (14-5, 1 NC) lost by third-round submission to Tony Martin at UFC on FOX 18 in January 2016. He did not test positive in an in-competition test in relation to that bout. Olivieri, a Nova Uniao product, was making his UFC debut against Martin. He had won three in a row prior to that.