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Cortney Casey fails drug test at UFC 211, win against Jessica Aguilar overturned to no-contest

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Cortney Casey’s dominant win over Jessica Aguilar has been overturned to a no contest.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A dominant win for Cortney Casey is now no longer a victory in the official record books.

The UFC strawweight fighter tested positive for an elevated testosterone ratio in an in-competition drug screen at UFC 211 on May 13 in Dallas, per drug-test results obtained by MMA Fighting on Friday via an open records request with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).

Casey’s unanimous decision win over Jessica Aguilar has been overturned to a no-contest by the TDLR due to the failure. The change is already reflected on, the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports’ (ABC) official record keeper.

Sources also confirmed that Casey is currently under suspension for three months on the ABC database, the typical suspension for a failed drug test in Texas. The standard fine in such a situation in Texas is $2,000.

Per the drug-test results, Casey’s testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio was 5.4:1. Anything over 4:1 is flagged in Texas.

An elevated T:E ratio does not mean Casey was taking prohibited substances. The World Anti-Doping Policy (WADA) threshold is also 4:1, but that would not immediately lead to a sanction. The sample would be further tested via isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) to determine whether or not the elevated levels came from the ingestion of exogenous testosterone. Only then would a disciplinary case be opened.

After a flagged T:E ratio in Texas, the TDLR will only do a followup test if an athlete discloses he or she is taking a substance that might elevate it, and Casey did not disclose any substance, sources said.

USADA is the UFC’s official anti-doping partner, but it’s undetermined if it will be pursuing any sanctions on Casey. UFC vice president of health and performance Jeff Novitzky told MMA Fighting that USADA has not informed the UFC about any case involving Casey.

“We have not been informed by USADA of anything regarding a potential anti-doping policy violation for Cortney Casey,” Novitzky said. “No positive tests, no suspicion of anything — now or in the past. USADA has not been in contact with us about anything at all related to that.”

Three fighters tested positive for marijuana in in-competition testing done by the TDLR at UFC Fight Night 104 on Feb. 4 in Houston. Two of them, Niko Price and Curtis Blaydes, had their wins overturned. All (the third was Abel Trujillo) were suspended 90 days. USADA did not pursue any sanctions against those fighters, because their levels of marijuana metabolites did not meet the WADA threshold. If any marijuana is detected in a TDLR test, the test is considered a failure.

Casey (6-4, 1 NC) won the fight against Aguilar, 30-27, prevailing in all three rounds clearly. The Hawaii resident is a promising name in the 115-pound women’s division. Casey, 30, had two straight wins before falling to top strawweight Claudia Gadelha last November and would have three victories in four fights if not for the test failure.

(Correction: For clarity, the second paragraph of his article was changed to make clear that Casey’s drug test found an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio and not simply an elevated level of testosterone.)