UFC heavyweight Raphael Pessoa suspended two years for anti-doping violation

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UFC heavyweight Raphael Pessoa suspended two years for anti-doping violation

Brazilian heavyweight Raphael Pessoa has accepted a two-year suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency following his second UFC anti-doping violation.

USADA officials announced the suspension on Monday.

“Pessoa Nunes, 32, tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and its metabolites chlorothiazide and 4-amino-6-chloro-1,3-benzenedisulfonamide (ACB) as the result of urine samples collected out-of-competition on February 9, 2021, February 15, 2021, February 16, 2021, and March 4, 2021. HCTZ is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and UFC Prohibited List. Because Pessoa Nunes was not yet notified of the positive tests until after all four samples were collected, they were treated as a single second violation,” read the USADA statement.

“The athlete also evaded sample collection on January 25, 2021 and January 28, 2021. Evading sample collection, or refusing or failing to submit to sample collection, without compelling justification is a doping violation under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Pessoa Nunes had not been notified of the evasion violations until after his positive tests were reported. Therefore, the evasion violations were also combined into the single second violation.”

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Pessoa Nunes’ period of ineligibility began on February 9, 2021, the date his first positive sample was collected. He will not be able to compete until Feb. 9, 2023.

Pessoa has fought three times in the UFC. He lost in his promotional debut against Ciryl Gane in August 2019. He defeated Jeff Hughes in his second outing October 2019. Pessoa last competed in July 2020, losing to Tanner Boxer by TKO.

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