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Sport USADA suspends UFC's Yair Rodriguez six months for missing drug tests

22:20  03 december  2020
22:20  03 december  2020 Source:   mmajunkie.com

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The reason behind Yair Rodriguez‘s recent inactivity has come to light, but it opens the door for further questions.

a man standing in front of a crowd © Provided by MMAJunkie

On Thursday, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced it has suspended Rodriguez (13-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC), one of the UFC’s top featherweight fighters, for six months following three “whereabouts failures” during a 12-month period.

“Like all UFC athletes, Rodriguez, 28, is a member of the UFC Registered Testing Pool and is therefore subject to certain Whereabouts responsibilities, which allow him to be located for testing,” USADA said in a statement. “Accurate Whereabouts information is a crucial component of an effective out-of-competition testing program because it enables anti-doping organizations to conduct no-notice sample collections, which helps maintain effective doping deterrence and detection.

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“Rodriguez failed to update his Whereabouts information and was unavailable for testing at locations provided in his Whereabouts Filings on three occasions. He accrued a Whereabouts Failure in each of the first three quarters of 2020. The accumulation of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period constitutes a policy violation under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”

USADA stated Rodriguez was eligible for a reduction in punishment because “his conduct did not raise suspicion that he was trying to avoid being available for testing.”

Rodriguez, who hasn’t competed since October 2019, will be eligible to return in March 2021. He was scheduled to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov in August but withdrew due to an ankle injury.

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At last Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 18 post-fight news conference, UFC president Dana White was asked about Rodriguez’s hiatus and gave a cryptic answer.

“We have not talked publicly about that?” White said. “Why not? I don’t think he’s going to fight soon. No, (he’s not hurt). We didn’t announce it. I don’t know why we didn’t. I don’t know what the deal is.”

Rodriguez is not the only UFC fighter to be suspended for missing mandatory drug tests. Most notably, former UFC welterweight title challenger Nick Diaz was suspended for one year in 2018 for the same violation.

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This is interesting!