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Fabricio Werdum receives reduced sentence from USADA, eligible to return in April

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Fabricio Werdum EL
Fabricio Werdum post-UFC 188 press conference

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum has received a 10-month reduction in his two-year suspension from USADA after he was originally sanctioned in 2018.

USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) announced on Thursday that the Brazilian received the reduction in his sentence after initially tested positive for the anabolic steroid trenbolone and it’s metabolite epitrenbolone following an out-of-competition drug test administered on April 25, 2018.

Werdum was subsequently suspended for two years for the infraction of the UFC’s anti-doping policy. Now he will be eligible to return in April following the reduction of his suspension.

“Werdum’s period of ineligibility began on May 22, 2018 but was tolled for a period of time while he was not available for testing and retired,” USADA officials said in a statement. “After being reinstated, and with his reduction, his new period of ineligibility is set to expire on April 1, 2020.”

“Werdum, 42, received a reduction from the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility due to substantial assistance. Under the applicable rules, an athlete facing a period of ineligibility who provides information that leads to the discovery of another violation or which results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering an offense, is eligible for a sanction reduction.”

Just after his sanction was announced, Werdum lashed out at USADA asking him to provide information in order to receive a reduced sentence.

“ I can’t tell on someone,” Werdum told Combate at the time. “Even if I knew, I wouldn’t do it. How am I going to snitch on someone to make it better for me, to lower my suspension or whatever?”

Following his initial suspension, Werdum exited the USADA testing program and requested his release from the UFC. He later walked that back, re-entered the testing pool with the intention to fight for the UFC again.

As noted in the USADA statement, Werdum’s suspension was put on hold while he was “retired,” which meant the additional time had to be added back once he became an active competitor again.

This past October, the Brazilian confirmed his plans to compete once his suspension had been lifted while still maintaining his innocence that he never knowingly took a banned substance.

“For sure, I’m very sad about this,” Werdum said. “I know I’m innocent. I come back soon for sure. I want to come back very soon, because I’m 42 years old, and I’m young. My mind is very young. This is the point. This is a secret.

“I come back, and I surprise you again. I shock the world again for sure. I just want to come back, maybe four fights, five, I don’t know.”

Werdum will be eligible to fight in the UFC as of April 1, although there’s no word on when he will be booked once his suspension is lifted.