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USADA suspends UFC’s Ricardo Abreu for four years after second anti-doping violation

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Ricardo Abreu has retired from MMA after two failed drug tests.
Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

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.