The United States Anti-Doping Agency has announced a suspension of two years for UFC welterweight Viscardi Andrade.

Andrade tested positive for anabolic steroids after his most recent bout, which was a decision win over Richard Walsh at UFC Fight Night 85. In a released statement, USADA said an out-of-competition test conducted March 7 revealed the presence of the banned steroid Stanozolol (Winstrol) and its metabolites. Stanozolol is a non-Specified Substance in the category of Anabolic Agents and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

The Brazilian mixed martial artist, who currently fights in the Welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, revealed he was ‘pressured’ to accept the doping ban. Andrade said he was always blaming the lab, and they are protecting the lab. The UFC fighter added that we got to a point where we asked for a letter explaining why the lab lost its credential, because they claimed it was not because of false positive results like the media reported. Andrade said USADA officials told them to accept this, or they would stop counting this year off, and his suspension would only get longer. The Brazilian mixed martial artist added he was pressured to accept the doping suspension. Previously, Felipe Olivieri went to arbitration in his case with USADA. It was determined by the arbitrator that he should get the maximum two years for testing positive for Methyltestosterone despite the Rio lab losing its WADA accreditation months later. The arbitrator, Richard H. McLaren, wrote in the decision that a suspension some three months later of the laboratory’s accreditation does not mean that the sample analysis in March was incorrect or flawed.

In a statement, USADA spokesperson Ryan Madden said Andrade had a right to arbitration and chose to forego it. Madden added the full facts of the case would have been made public had he gone to arbitration and also commented that we of course have full confidence in the results and outcome of this case and also said that the athlete under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy had the opportunity to have this case heard by an independent arbitrator.

The positive test of Andrade took place 12 days before the fight but he was not notified of the potential anti-doping violation until April 12. The period of ineligibility started from March 20, the day after the FS1-televised event.

The lab in Rio de Janeiro, three months after UFC Fight Night 85, where the urine sample of Andrade was processed lost its WADA accreditation for failing to adhere to international drug testing standards. The lab however was reinstated a month later and it is unclear whether the testing issue affected the case of Viscardi Andrade.

USADA said it has forwarded all information about the case of Andrade to decide whether or not to overturn his win against Walsh. In a statement, the United States Anti-Doping Agency said a bout (as per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, an Anti-Doping Policy Violation occurring during, or in connection with) may, upon the decision of UFC, lead to disqualification of all the athlete’s results obtained in that bout.

A veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 2,” Andrade is still subject to drug testing during his suspension.

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