Saturday, November 27, 2021

Ricardo Abreu Retires Following Second USADA Failure

Already in the midst of a two-year suspension due to a failed drug test with USADA, Ricardo Abreu was notified earlier this week of a second test failure. Out of action until June 2018 after testing positive for norandrosterone and 19-noretiocholanolone metabolites, Abreu’s second test failure has now convinced him to call it a career. Combate first reported the news, and MMAFighting’s Guilherme Cruz reached out to Abreu for comment.

Unfortunately, at least in part, it appears the UFC‘s sponsorship deal with Reebok led him to his ultimate decision.

Per Abreu, by way of MMAFighting,

I had a fight in New Orleans and lost a close split decision. After that, I decided to move to Albuquerque, which was cheaper to live than Los Angeles, and train at Jackson’s. But the crisis in Brazil just got worse, and my sponsor notified me that they couldn’t sponsor me anymore because of it. That was right after the Reebok deal with the UFC.

You make a living with sponsors, not with the purse the UFC pays you. Sometimes the money you make through sponsors is bigger than the fight itself. But it doesn’t make sense to sponsor a fighter if he can’t use your brand in the UFC. I understand them. I’m not criticizing the UFC. I love the company, it’s one of the biggest companies in the world, but that was the reality. That’s what happened.

Depressed over the sponsorship situation, and concerned about how to feed his family, including his pregnant wife and three year old son, Abreu sought professional help. A psychologist suggested bioidentical hormone replacement. Abreu says he never considered fighting in the UFC at that time, and therefore didn’t obtain clearance. When USADA came knocking, Abreu says, he didn’t bother having his B-sample tested, as he knew the hormones were still in his system. “I never blamed tainted meat, tainted anything. And they showed up a few weeks ago to test me again, and it’s obvious that some traces of the medication would still be in my body.”

Stating that he’s choosing his life over fight, Abreu said in regards to retirement

Feeling better, living with my family and friends, enjoying life, having energy to play with my kids, that’s what matters to me. Unfortunately, I can’t get a medical license from the UFC to get treatment, so this happened. But now I have time to take care of myself and be happy. Life is good.


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