Ion Cutelaba Under USADA Investigation for Blood Doping

Ion Cutelaba
Image Credit: Dave Mandel of Sherdog.com

Moldovan fighter Ion Cutelaba was pulled from his UFC 217 bout against Michal Oleksiejczuk just one day before the Madison Square Garden

Cutelaba followed up on the incident with a statement issued to MMAUNO where he claimed that the potential violation was due to a failure to provide necessary documentation to the agency ahead of his bout:

“I’ve done a legal medical procedure to reduce an inflammation and that procedure is called ozone therapy.

“This procedure I don’t think is very well known by USADA, so USADA just wanted information about this procedure from the doctor that has performed it, but unfortunately because we only had a few days to provide all this evidence, we didn’t have enough time to get everything together that USADA wanted.”

USADA confirmed on Tuesday to Bloody Elbow that ‘Cutelaba’s potential violation was in fact over his disclosed use of ozone therapy’. This spells big trouble for the 23-year-old given that Ozone therapy is noted on USADA’s Globaldro website’s FAQ section as a banned substance. In fact, it clearly states it is banned as a form of blood doping and prohibited by section M1 of the WADA prohibited list. The section is pretty clear on this:

“Is ozone therapy prohibited?

“Yes, ozone therapy or any manipulation of blood or blood components is prohibited under M1 of the WADA Prohibited List. This includes the administration or reintroduction of any quantity of autologous, allogenic (homologous) or heterologous blood or red blood cell products of any origin into the circulatory system, artificially enhancing the uptake, transport or delivery of oxygen, or any form of intravascular manipulation of the blood or blood components by physical or chemical means.”

Cutelaba will learn the findings of USADA’s test in the coming weeks but may be preparing to face a ban as a  result of his potential infraction.