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Yair Rodriguez suspended six months by USADA for failing to file location for random testing

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Yair Rodriguez
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Yair Rodriguez will have to wait until 2021 to resume his career.

The featherweight contender received a six-month suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency for violating the UFC’s anti-doping policy by failing to file his location for testing three times in the past 12 months.

USADA officials made the announcement on Thursday

“Like all UFC athletes, Rodriguez, 28, is a member of the UFC Registered Testing Pool and is therefore subject to certain Whereabouts responsibilities, which allow him to be located for testing,” USADA officials wrote in a statement. “Accurate Whereabouts information is a crucial component of an effective out-of-competition testing program because it enables anti-doping organizations to conduct no-notice sample collections, which helps maintain effective doping deterrence and detection.

“Rodriguez failed to update his Whereabouts information and was unavailable for testing at locations provided in his Whereabouts Filings on three occasions. He accrued a Whereabouts Failure in each of the first three quarters of 2020. The accumulation of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period constitutes a policy violation under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”

USADA officials added that Rodriguez was eligible for a reduction in his sentence because “his conduct did not raise suspicion that he was trying to avoid being available for testing.”

UFC President Dana White recently hinted that Rodriguez would be sidelined for the immediate future after he had been connected to a fight against Zabit Magomedsharipov earlier this year.

“I don’t think he’s going to fight soon,” White said at the UFC Vegas 15 post-fight press conference. “I don’t know what the deal is. It’s actually none of my business what’s going on there. When it comes out, it will come out. It’s none of the UFC’s business. When they figure it out they’ll let us know.”

Rodriguez’s suspension was made retroactive to Sept. 8, which was the date when his third Whereabouts failure was declared.

That means he’ll be eligible to return after March 8, 2021.

With an 8-1 (1 NC) record in the UFC, Rodriguez has been touted as one of the best prospects in the sport before eventually becoming a top contender in the featherweight division. Following an incredible last-second knockout against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, Rodriguez earned a Fight of the Night award for a back-and-forth war against Jeremy Stephens in his last appearance in October 2019.

Unfortunately, Rodriguez has been unable to compete since then and now it looks like he’ll have to wait until March 2021 to book his next fight.