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UFC middleweight David Branch suspended two years by USADA following failed drug test

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UFC middleweight David Branch will have to sit out until 2021 after receiving a two-year suspension from USADA following a failed drug test.

The news of the suspension was announced by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) on Wednesday as the administrators of the UFC’s anti-doping policy.

“Branch, 37, tested positive for ipamorelin as the result of a urine sample he provided out-of-competition on May 24, 2019. Ipamorelin is in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List,” USADA officials wrote in a statement.

“Ipamorelin is a potent Growth Hormone Secretagogue that stimulates the brain to release human growth hormone and is used by athletes as a performance-enhancing drug. The use of prohibited peptides by athletes and consumers for performance or physique enhancement purposes (including recovery from injury) poses serious health risks, and these peptides are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for human use or consumption.”

Ipamorelin has popped up several times just recently with athletes in other sports facing suspensions for performance enhancing drug use. In August, Brooklyn Nets’ forward Wilson Chandler was suspended for 25 games for ipamorelin use. Former Washington Wizards’ star Jodie Meeks faced a similar 25 game suspension last year after testing positive for ipamorelin.

Branch’s sanction was made retroactive to July 26 based on the day his provisional suspension started. That means the former World Series of Fighting Champion will not be allowed to compete in the UFC again until after July 26, 2021.

Branch would be on the verge of his 40th birthday when he’s allowed to compete again.

Since returning to the UFC in 2017, Branch has found mixed results with a 2-3 record overall including a win over Thiago Santos while dropping his last two fights in a row with a TKO loss to Jared Cannonier followed by a submission defeat courtesy of Jack Hermansson.