UFC flyweight Priscila Cachoeira, whose Octagon career started with a brutal beatdown courtesy of champ Valentina Shevchenko, has been suspended by the UFC’s anti-doping partner.
Cachoeira accepted a four-month term after an out-of-competition drug test conducted Oct. 19 revealed the presence of hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and its metabolites. HCTZ is in the class of masking agents and diuretics and is banned year-round.
USADA confirmed Cachoeira’s explanation for the positive test, which she said came from blood pressure medication given to her by her mother in response to high blood pressure and blurred vision prior to her scheduled fight at UFC Sao Paulo.
USADA weighed those circumstances, but ultimately determined Cachoeira didn’t have a therapeutic-use exemption to use the banned substance and issued a reduced suspension; the punishment for first-time offenders in the specified substances category is one year.
“It was an accident,” said Cachoeira, who has yet to earn her first Octagon win after decision setbacks against Molly McCann and Luana Carolina following her loss to Shevchenko. “I had no idea what she was giving me. I wasn’t even thinking about USADA, I just wanted to get better. She has no idea what USADA does.”
“I hope USADA understands the desperation of a mother seeing her daughter ill,” Cachoeira added later.
Cachoeira’s suspension is retroactive to the date of her positive test, meaning she’ll be cleared to fight on Feb. 20, 2020.