UFC middleweight Ricardo Abreu has announced retirement after receiving a doping suspension of four years from the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a second failed drug test within a six-month period.

In a statement, USADA announced tested positive for 19-norandrosterone (19-NA), the main urinary metabolite of Nandrolone (19-nortestosterone) and other 19-norsteroids, above the decision limit of 3.4 ng/mL, following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on December 21, 2016. The statement further reads that the exogenous, or non-natural, origin of the 19-NA was further confirmed by sophisticated carbon isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS) analysis in accordance with standard practice. The GC/C/IRMS analysis can reveal the presence of synthetic anabolic agents and the GC/C/IRMS analysis result in this case was consistent with the exogenous origin of 19-NA. Anabolic Agents, including 19-NA, are non-Specified Substances prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the WADA Prohibited List.

The fighter said he already had a 3-year-old son and his wife was pregnant, and he had no idea if we would have money the next month. Abreu said he was expecting a second anti-doping test failure and had been undergoing treatment for depression. The UFC middleweight also remarked he was afraid and that fear dominated him. The former “Ultimate Fighter Brazil” competitor said staying in California was very expensive for him.

Abreu remarked his sponsorship funds were coming from Brazil and the financial crisis in the country made things worse for him and also commented his sponsor informed him that he would not be sponsored anymore. The UFC middleweight also remarked he was seeking professional assistance from a psychologist and he was suggested to undergo bioidentical hormone replacement. Abreu remarked he did not obtain clearance from the UFC since he had no desire to continue fighting in the league at that time. Abreu said it was really fortunate for him to receive the support of Wanderlei Silva and his lovely family for a significant amount of time.

Abreu announced his retirement after being informed of his positive test. The sanction of four years will start if and when he informs UFC and USADA of a return to fighting. His sanction would have started on May 4 if he had remained active.

In the past, the 33-year-old Brazilian tested positive for 19-norandrosterone (19-NA) above the decision limit of 3 ng/mL and 19-noretiocholanolone in an out of competition test administered on June 3, 2016. Abreu was initially suspended for a period of two years following the failed test and was eligible to return on July 1, 2018.

The UFC middleweight debuted in the Octagon with a second-round submission of Wagner Silva Gomes at “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3” finale before dropping a split decision to Jake Collier at UFC Fight Night 68 in June 2015. He has not competed since the loss to Collier.

Abreu is the second UFC fighter to face a second anti-doping policy violation after George Sullivan failed to clear an anti-doping test while he was serving a ban.

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