Doctor Responsible for the Failed Drug Test of Paulo Costa Gets Suspended by USADA

Published 03/23/2020, 6:26 PM EDT


USADA has suspended the Brazilian doctor who was responsible for the failed drug test of Paulo Costa. USADA made the comment on Monday, citing a violation of USADA Anti-Doping Policy.

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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”, wrote the USADA officials in their statement.

The IV infusions or injections were limited to less than 50 mL per 6-hour period. However, after a policy amendment took place, the bar was raised to 100 mL per 12-hour period.

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After the weigh-ins at UFC 212, Costa had taken a saline solution to go along with stomach medication. He repeated the same thing after the weigh-ins at UFC 217. “Borrachinha,” told USADA that the infusions were for helping him to recover from the weight cuts. He said that he wasn’t even aware that he was taking a prohibited substance.

Paulo Costa received a six months ban back from August 2018 to February 2019

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Costa was handed a six months ban by the USADA due to the prohibited IV infusion twice. The Brazilian broke the news himself back in April 2019. However, he had already served his suspension by the time the news came out.

As per USADA, Dr Penchel was the one who had prescribed the prohibited infusions. “Dr Penchel, like all athlete support personnel, was entrusted to help athletes make safe and informed decisions, but instead, he violated anti-doping rules and his oath to best protect athletes’ health and safety,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart.

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Costa’s elder brother was also involved in administering the infusion of IV. However, both the brothers were actively involved in assisting the USADA during the investigation. This led to the undefeated middleweight receiving a reduced suspension of six months.

Paulo Costa has been on a tear in the UFC middleweight division. Apart from the hiccup involving the suspension, his career has been off to a flying start. If not for his injury, he would have already faced Israel Adesanya for the 185-pound belt. However, now that Yoel Romero is out of the way, Costa is the next contender in line for a shot at the belt.

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Rishabh Singh

655 articles

Rishabh Singh is an MMA author at EssentiallySports since 2020. An engineer in the making, his love for combat sports began by watching Anderson Silva light people up inside the Octagon. When he isn't busy in his technical pursuits, he is an avid reader with a love for sports in general and sporting history in particular.

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