UFC middleweight Dequan Townsend has been sanctioned by USADA after he tested positive for cocaine and fentanyl following his Octagon debut last year.
USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) announced the news on Wednesday while adding that Townsend faced a reduced six-month suspension for the violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy contingent on his completion of a drug rehabilitation program.
“Townsend, 33, tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, and norfentanyl, a metabolite of fentanyl and its derivatives, as the result of an in-competition urine sample he provided on June 28, 2019 at UFC Fight Night Minneapolis, where he lost by technical knockout,” USADA officials wrote in a statement.
“Cocaine, a non-Specified stimulant, and fentanyl, a Specified narcotic, are prohibited in-competition and considered Substances of Abuse under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and the UFC Prohibited List.”
USADA added that because Townsend tested positive for substances of abuse, he was eligible for a reduced sentence.
“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, athletes may receive a reduced sanction for Substances of Abuse if they can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation did not enhance, and was not intended to enhance, the athlete’s performance in a bout and they subsequently complete a drug rehabilitation program,” USADA confirmed.
Townsend suffered a TKO loss in his UFC debut after stepping into a short notice fight against Dalcha Lungiambula last June.
The six-month suspension was made retroactive to the date of his test on June 28, 2019, which means Townsend is already eligible to compete again.
He’s currently scheduled to face Bevon Lewis on the undercard of the upcoming UFC Fight Night card in Raleigh, N.C. on Jan. 25.