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Augusto Mendes will appeal USADA suspension and 'prove my innocence'

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Augusto Mendes could face a long suspension.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Augusto Mendes was pulled from a UFC Atlantic City clash with Mareb Dvalishvili on April 21 after testing positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition USADA test, but says he’s innocent.

“Tanquinho”, a multiple-time jiu-jitsu champion with a 6-2 MMA record, including a 1-2 run inside the Octagon, released a statement on Wednesday revealing that he will appeal, ask for the B sample to be tested, and also test the supplements he has used.

Mendes did not disclose which substance he tested positive for.

Check Mendes’ statement below.

This past Wednesday March 20th in the afternoon I was surprised with a notification from USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency), informing me of a potential violation to their doping regulations on a test presented on March 7th of this month.

In my 20 years of martial arts, I have never used any substance that would enhance my performance. With this being said, I am shocked and express my total innocence on this situation. I put myself 100% in the governing entity disposition to clarify this case as fast as possible under all regulations.

In the past months I have not changed my supplement routine. I am always respectful of all regulations presented by USADA. I have been tested 7 times in the past year and have passed all with no problems or worries. Because of my professionalism and personal character I respect the work done by USADA in pro of all MMA fighters and their legitimacy to fight. I will incur in all means necessary and possible that will allow me prove my innocence in this case.

I live the glories and feel the bitter taste of defeat that this sport brings. In 2016, due to a left knee injury I was forced to sit on the sidelines of all sport activity for a whole year. I know and dislike what a doping sanction can do for my career. I would never make this mistake to myself. For all this I have been pulled out of my fight with Mareb Dvalishvili scheduled for UFC Fight Night 128 on April 21st.

I would like to thank all of my fans who are sending me through social media all sort of words of love, encouragement , trust and confidence that all this will be settled in my favor.To my fans, friends, training partners, to the UFC and Mareb Dvalishvili, I would like to apologize for my absence in the programmed fight and I am confident that a new adversary will be found so you can all have a great fight.

I will see you all soon in the octagon. Thank you