As expected, Ricardo Abreu won’t be fighting in the UFC any time soon. Or, more likely, ever again.
The middleweight fighter was suspended for four years by USADA after failing a drug test while serving a previous USADA suspension for a positive test, it was announced by the UFC’s anti-doping partner Friday. The second anti-doping policy violation resulted in the sanction length being doubled.
Abreu, 33, tested positive for nandrolone metabolites and other 19-norsteroids stemming from a sample collected Dec. 21, 2016. The non-natural origin of the agent was confirmed by carbon isotope-ratio analysis, per the USADA release. The substances Abreu tested positive for fall under the anabolic agents category in the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
When the drug test was taken, Abreu was already serving a two-year USADA suspension for testing positive for the anabolic steroid metabolites norandrosterone and 19-noretiocholanolone in June 2016. After failing the second test, Abreu informed the UFC and USADA of his retirement.
Abreu (5-1) would have been eligible to return to the UFC in June 2018, but now the finish of his sanction is open-ended. The clock won’t begin running on Abreu’s suspension unless he informs the UFC and USADA that he is out of retirement. Only then will the four-year suspension begin and the Brazilian fighter will again be eligible for random drug testing by USADA.
Abreu told MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz that he expected a failure in the second test and he has been undergoing treatment for depression.
“I already had a 3-year-old son and my wife was pregnant, and I had no idea if we would have money the next month,” Abreu said at the time. “I was afraid, and that fear dominated me. I was already a little depressed, and that depression only got bigger. I was afraid of everything. I had no courage for nothing, no energy. I thought nothing would work. I started to go down.”
In two UFC fights, Abreu went 1-1. He last fought against Jake Collier in June 2015, a split decision loss.