USADA Suspends Doctor Who Administered IVs To UFC’s Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa explains
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Dr. Lucas Penchel has accepted a two-year sanction by USADA for administering IVs to UFC middleweight Paulo Costa.

Costa was suspended for six months under USADA back in April 2019. Video surfaced of Costa being given an IV, which drew a lot of attention from fans and media members. USADA typically has IVs on the banned list but exemptions are still in place. While Costa did not take in banned substances, he was not given an exemption for the IV.

Doctor Gets USADA Boot For Two Years

USADA has announced that Dr. Penchel, the one who administered IVs to Costa, has been suspended for two years.

Here’s part of USADA’s statement.

“USADA announced today that Dr. Lucas Penchel, of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has accepted a two-year sanction for a violation of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy (UFC ADP) resulting from his complicity in the administration and use of over-limit intravenous (IV) infusions of permitted substances on June 2, 2017 and November 3, 2017 by Carlos Costa and Paulo Costa, respectively.

In 2017, IV infusions and/or injections of more than 50 mL per 6-hour period were prohibited except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures, or clinical investigations under the UFC ADP. The UFC ADP has since been amended and now prohibits IV infusions and/or injections of more than 100 mL per 12-hour period with the added exception of those determined to be medically justified and within the standard of care by a licensed physician and administered by a licensed medical professional. Applying the current rules, the 2017 infusions remain in violation of the UFC ADP.

During its investigation, USADA learned that Dr. Penchel recommended and prescribed the 2017 prohibited IV infusions. The UFC ADP applies to Athlete Support Personnel who are directly working with, treating, or assisting any UFC athlete in a professional or sport-related capacity. This includes, without limitation, acting as a manager, coach, trainer, second, corner man, agent, or medical personnel.”

Unlike fighters who are often sanctioned retroactive to the date of their bannable action, Penchel’s period of eligibility began on March 17, 2020.

Costa was free to compete back in July 2019 as his sanction was retroactive to Aug. 2018. He defeated Yoel Romero via unanimous decision. Costa is expected to challenge Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight championship next if he can recover fully from surgery.