Paulo Costa has been sanctioned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Costa was initially set to take on Yoel Romero at UFC Fort Lauderdale tomorrow night (April 27). Costa pulled out and Romero claims he heard it was due to an anti-doping violation. Costa denied using steroids and said the culprit was stomach medication. USADA confirmed that Costa did indeed receive permitted substances, but failed to get a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
Paulo Costa Sanctioned By USADA
USADA released the following statement on Costa’s suspension:
“USADA announced today that UFC Athlete Paulo Costa and one of his Athlete Support Personnel, Carlos Costa, of Contagem, Brazil, have each accepted a six-month sanction for violations of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy for use and administration, respectively, of a prohibited method.
Based on video and other corroborating evidence, USADA determined that on June 2, 2017, Paulo Costa, 27, received an intravenous infusion (IV) of permitted substances, including saline solution and a stomach medication, of more than 100 mL per 12-hour period after weigh-in for UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). On November 3, 2017, Paulo Costa again received an IV infusion of permitted substances of more than 100 mL per 12-hour period after weigh-in for UFC 217 in New York City, New York, without a TUE.
Both infusions were administered by Carlos Costa.”
The period of ineligibility for Costa began on Aug. 10, 2018. That means Costa can return to action as long as he pays fines for violating the rules of other commissions:
“Paulo Costa’s use of a prohibited method on June 2, 2017 also falls under the jurisdiction of the Comissão Atlética Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA), which has recognized USADA’s sanction and will additionally fine Paulo $4,000 (1/3 of the UFC 212 purse), all of which will revert to his opponent in UFC 212. In addition, the New York State Athletic Commission has resolved Paulo Costa’s case arising from the November 3, 2017, IV with no period of ineligibility and a $9,333.33 fine (1/3 of the UFC 217 purse). Neither Commission will impose any additional sanction on Carlos Costa.”