Brazilian middleweight star Paulo Costa has been suspended for six months by USADA after being found to have used an IV illegally twice after weigh-ins at UFC events.
“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,” USADA wrote in a statement.
“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.”
Rumors that Costa had failed a USADA test had been circling for quite some time, but the fighter had always insisted that it was not due to having taken performance enhancing drugs, and that’s now proven to be true.
“The evidence in this case corroborated Paulo Costa’s explanation that the purpose of his over-the-limit infusions was to recover from the effects of weight cutting prior to UFC 212 and UFC 217, not to mask the use of a prohibited substance.
“Paulo Costa’s and Carlos Costa’s six-month periods of ineligibility began on August 10, 2018, the date Paulo Costa acknowledged receipt of these intravenous infusions. Both sanctions were reduced based on substantial assistance the Costas provided to USADA.”
As a result, Costa’s retroactive suspension has already been served and he’s already eligble to compete again.