Lyoto Carvalho Machida, the Brazilian mixed martial artist who currently competes in the middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has been suspended for 18 months after admitting use of a banned substance as well as failing a subsequent drug test administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion accepted the sanction according to USADA officials in a release. USADA officials wrote in the release the 38-year-old Machida declared the use of a product containing 7-keto-dehydroepiandrosterone (7-keto-DHEA) on his sample collection paperwork during an out-of-competition test conducted on April 8, 2016. 7-keto-DHEA is a prohibited substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the WADA Prohibited List.

The release further reads Machida upon notice from USADA of his potential violation immediately confirmed his use of the product, which listed 7-keto-DHEA as an ingredient, and fully cooperated with the subsequent investigation after advising USADA that he did not realize 7-keto-DHEA was a prohibited substance when he used the product.

Machida later failed the out-of-competition drug test that showed evidence that he used the banned substance ahead of his last scheduled fight this past April when he was scheduled to face Dan Henderson in Florida. Machida was pulled from the fight with Henderson and the bout was cancelled.

USADA officials said the sample of Machida was analyzed at a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory and reported to USADA for an elevated 7ß-hydroxy-DHEA to DHEA ratio, which is consistent with his declared use of a prohibited substance.

Machida has been suspended for 18 months, retroactive to April 8, 2016, which means he would be eligible to return to action in October 2017. Officials of the United States Anti-Doping Agency remarked his sentence from a standard two year suspension was reduced down to 18 months as Machida admitted to taking the banned substance prior to the test. USADA said Machida fully cooperated with the subsequent investigation after advising USADA that he did not realize 7-keto-DHEA was a prohibited substance when he used the product.

Machida has lost three of his past four bouts. He suffered a knockout loss to Yoel Romero at UFC Fight Night 70 in June 2015 in his most recent appearance.

Reacting to the suspension, Dutch mixed martial artist and kickboxer Gegard Mousasi said he thinks the recent 18-month suspension handed out to the former UFC light heavyweight champion and middleweight title challenger was slightly harsh. Mousasi (40-6-2 MMA, 7-3 UFC), who fought Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) in February 2014 and lost a unanimous decision, said Machida is a fighter, you have to respect him, and he thinks 18 months it a little bit too much. Mousasi admits the suspension of Machida was probably overboard, and said he hopes his former opponent eventually comes back to the octagon. Mousasi added he said a lot of things about him, but at the end of the day and he is hopeful Machida would come back soon.

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