George Sullivan’s toughest opponent over the last year has been USADA.
The UFC welterweight failed a drug test and is facing a second UFC anti-doping policy violation, the promotion announced Thursday. Sullivan is the first athlete to be flagged by USADA twice since it became the UFC’s anti-doping partner in July 2015.
The positive test stems from a sample collected Jan. 14. Sullivan, who is currently serving a one-year suspension by USADA, has been provisionally suspended on top of that.
Depending on the outcome of the adjudication process, Sullivan could be facing at least a two-year suspension from the UFC. Extenuating circumstances could reduce that time period, but there’s also a possibility he could get more.
In a statement written Thursday on Facebook, Sullivan said the failed drug test was a “misunderstanding about a fertility pill” he began taking three weeks ago. He wrote he and his wife are attempting to have a baby and his doctor is sending in paperwork to USADA to “clear this up.”
Hey guys it's a misunderstanding about a fertility pill I started taking 3 weeks ago to try and have a baby. dr Morgan...Posted by George Sullivan on Thursday, January 26, 2017
Sullivan, 35, did not fail a drug test the first time, but was suspended one year after admitting the use of a product that contained the banned substance Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). The suspension was retroactive to Jan. 31, 2016, because that was the first time Sullivan disclosed the use of the deer antler velvet that contained the IGF-1.
The substance Sullivan tested positive for this time was not disclosed by USADA and won’t be, per policy, unless Sullivan states it or until the conclusion of the adjudication process.
Sullivan (17-5, 1 NC) was supposed to face Randy Brown at UFC 208 on Feb. 11 in Brooklyn, but has now been pulled from that fight due to the provisional suspension. The New Jersey native last fought in January 2016, a first-round knockout loss to Alexander Yakovlev.
The UFC is seeking a new opponent for Brown.