Sean O’Malley, Nicco Montano Among Four Sanctioned By USADA

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Sean O'Malley
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Sean O’Malley, Nicco Montano, Marvin Vettori, and Augusto Mendes have been handed their sanctions by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

All four fighters tested positive for ostraine following out-of-competition drug tests. The supplements that each competitor took were found to be contaminated. Therefore, all fighters were given six-month sanctions. O’Malley, Vettori and Mendes have already completed their suspensions, while Montano won’t be eligible to compete again until after May 15.

Here is a rundown of the suspensions from USADA as well as a statement:

“Augusto Mendes, 36, of Glendale, Ariz., tested positive for ostarine following an out-of-competition test conducted on March 7, 2018. He accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on March 20, 2018, the date he was provisionally suspended from competition.

Marvin Vettori, 25, of Mezzocorona, Italy, tested positive for ostarine following an out-of-competition test conducted on August 24, 2018. He accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on August 24, 2018, the date he was provisionally suspended from competition.

Sean O’Malley, 24, of Phoenix, Ariz., tested positive for ostarine following out-of-competition tests conducted on September 5, 2018 and December 8, 2018. His two positives were treated as a single, first violation because the amount of ostarine in both samples is consistent with ingestion prior to September 5, 2018. He accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on September 19, 2018, the date he was provisionally suspended from competition.

Nicco Montano, 30, of Albuquerque, N.M., tested positive for ostarine following an out-of-competition test conducted on October 25, 2018. She accepted a six-month period of ineligibility that began on November 15, 2018, the date she was provisionally suspended from competition.”

“USADA announced today that four athletes have accepted six-month sanctions for violating the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy after testing positive for trace amounts of ostarine consistent with supplement contamination.

Ostarine is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Ostarine, also known as MK-2866 and Enobosarm, is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that is illegally sold worldwide as a performance-enhancing substance. Ostarine is not currently available as a prescription medication in any country, and its unauthorized use may carry serious side effects. Nonetheless, ostarine has commonly been found as a declared and undeclared ingredient in many dietary supplements. More information about the risks of ostarine can be found through a USADA athlete advisory.

USADA’s athlete advisory recognizes the demonstrated prevalence of ostarine in a wide range of supplement products used by athletes (see USADA High Risk List for more than 70 products) and that ostarine has frequently been found as a product contaminant. The trace amounts of ostarine found in each of the athlete’s samples was made possible by sensitive laboratory detection capabilities. However, as detection windows increase and the potential time between ingestion and detection lengthens, it has become more difficult for athletes to identify a contaminated product that may be the source of their positive test. As a consequence, the investigation period in ostarine cases is frequently relatively long, as has been the case in each of the cases announced today.”

O’Malley has been teasing a July return and now he’s officially eligible to compete by that time. Montano hasn’t fought since capturing the women’s flyweight gold against Roxanne Modafferi back in Dec. 2017. She was stripped of the title after failing to arrive at the UFC 228 weigh-ins due to a failed weight cut.