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USADA issues two-year suspension to Giacomo Lemos for failed drug test ahead of UFC debut

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UFC Fighter Portraits Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Brazilian heavyweight Giacomo Lemos has been suspended for two years after he tested positive for a banned substance ahead of his scheduled UFC debut in July.

Lemos was originally expected to meet Tanner Boser at UFC 240, but he was pulled from the card ahead of the event. He later revealed his scratch was due to a potential violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy.

On Thursday, USADA officials confirmed Lemos had accepted a two-year sanction for the failed drug test.

“Lemos, 30, tested positive for drostanolone and its metabolite 2α-methyl-5α-androstan-3α-ol-17-one as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample he provided on July 9, 2019,” USADA officials wrote in a statement. “Drostanolone is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

“Lemos’ two-year period of ineligibility, the standard sanction for a non-Specified Substance under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, began on July 9, 2019, the date his positive sample was collected.”

Drostanolone is an anabolic steroid that’s banned year-round. UFC fighters such as Anderson Silva and Brian Ortega previously have tested positive for the same drug.

After he was initially pulled from the card, Lemos released a statement to MMA Fighting, claiming he didn’t know the exact cause of his positive drug test.

“I still don’t really know what happened, but we suspect that an anti-inflammatory injection I took on my last fight in Seoul [on April 8], before I had a contract with the UFC, was contaminated with this substance, a substance that stays longer in your body,” Lemos said in July.

“I got confirmation that I was going to fight in the UFC on six weeks’ notice. My test was done on July 9, and unfortunately the result came back two days before my debut. We’re also investigating all supplements I took since then and we’ll get them analyzed as well to check for a possible contamination, besides asking for the B sample to be tested because the amount was so low it would mean no benefit in this fight.”

Lemos’ two-year suspension is retroactive to the July 9 date of his out-of-competition test, meaning he’ll be eligible to return after July 9, 2021.