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USADA: Cris Cyborg ‘fully complied’ in controversial Thailand sample collection

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Cris Cyborg and USADA seem to be on the same page after a sample-collection controversy last week.

The police were called on doping-control officers who came to drug test Cyborg in Thailand, the UFC featherweight champion tweeted Friday. Cyborg has been training at Phuket Top Team for the last few weeks. Bloody Elbow’s Iain Kidd reported on the situation over the weekend.

Despite the apparent issues with Thai authorities, Cyborg’s sample was collected without issue and is now at a laboratory, according to a statement USADA sent to MMA Fighting on Tuesday.

“Ms. Justino fully complied with the sample collection process,” a USADA spokesperson said in the statement. “From collection to delivery, the integrity of the sample was secured, and it is currently being analyzed by the WADA accredited lab in Tokyo. Athletes’ cooperation in providing a requested sample is critical to ensure all athletes’ right to safe and clean sport is protected.”

Phuket Top Team owner Boyd Clarke wrote in a post on the UG forum Sunday that the cops were not called by Cyborg or anyone associated with her, but by workers at the hotel she is staying in and his own front-desk staff.

“My Thai staff was made aware of several people believed to be "stalking" Cris cyborg, as they would not identify themselves,” Clarke wrote. “We were told by our staff that 2 people checked into a hotel room next to cris and were acting strange by asking questions about them. Cyborg was placed in an exclusive location to provide her privacy while training at my gym.

“Initially my staff thought the couple were just overly excited fans.”

Clarke wrote that the sample collectors misidentified themselves, police found that they did not have the right paperwork to be working in Thailand as citizens of Singapore and when confronted about it one of them offered to pay the officer “in exchange for them to be let go.”

USADA would not comment specifically on this particular incident or the accusations, but sources said the incident is being investigated and the organization hired to collect the samples uses World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) protocols.

Cyborg, 32, has had issues with anti-doping and USADA in the past. She failed a drug test in 2011 for a steroid and was stripped of her Strikeforce featherweight title. Cyborg failed a USADA drug test earlier this year for a diuretic (spironolactone), but received a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) because the drug was being used for medical purposes and prescribed by a physician.

This time, though, it seems the controversy had little to do with Cyborg or her team. The sample was collected and the UFC star is not on the outs with USADA in any way, the organization confirmed.

“During collection process my team was in contact with USADA,” Cyborg wrote on Twitter. “We fully support USADA testing in an effort to keep the sport clean. … It is the testing agencies responsibility have the proper clearance when working internationally and my team is not involved in that process.”