Chad Mendes will not be able to return to action until 2018 after accepting a two-year suspension by the USADA.
Mendes, according to a release by the USADA, tested positive for the banned substance GHRP-17, which is a growth-hormone releasing peptide. It was found during an out-of-competition sample on May 17.
The last time the former title contender fought was in December when he lost to Frankie Edgar via knockout. Mendes is 17-4 overall in his career.
Below is the complete statement from the USADA:
USADA announced today that UFC athlete Chad Mendes, of Sacramento, Calif., has received a two-year sanction for an anti-doping policy violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance.
Mendes, 31, tested positive for GHRP-6 (Growth Hormone-Releasing Hexapeptide) following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on May 17, 2016. GHRP-6 is a prohibited substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Growth Hormone-Releasing Peptides are listed as Non-Specified Substances on the WADA Prohibited List. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the standard sanction for an anti-doping policy violation involving a Non-Specified Substance is a two-year period of ineligibility.
Mendes’ two-year period of ineligibility began on June 10, 2016, the date on which he received a provisional suspension. In addition, Mendes has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 17, 2016, the date of sample collection, including forfeiture of any title, ranking, purse or other compensation.
USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. The anti-doping program run by USADA for UFC athletes includes education, science and research, testing, and results management. Official UFC Anti-Doping Program information and athlete resources are available at UFC.USADA.org.