USADA announced on Wednesday that UFC athlete Augusto Montano, of Mexico City, Mexico, has tested positive for a prohibited substance, which was determined to have been ingested by him without fault or negligence.
Montano, 31, tested positive for trace amounts of clenbuterol as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample he provided on May 19, 2016. Clenbuterol is an Anabolic Agent prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Consistent with numerous prior reported cases globally, the issue of illicit administration of clenbuterol to animals destined for food production can result in, under specific conditions, a positive sample from an athlete. WADA has issued specific warnings about this problem in China and Mexico. To USADA’s knowledge, positive tests resulting from meat contamination issues are rare outside of those two countries. Moreover, due to strict regulatory and meat certification practices, USADA is not aware of any instances in which an athlete’s sample tested positive for clenbuterol after consumption of meat produced in the U.S.
USADA was informed of Montano’s positive test result in June 2016, and immediately initiated an investigation to determine the circumstances that led to the positive test. As part of the investigation, USADA interviewed Montano on multiple occasions and reviewed all available relevant evidence, including Montano’s whereabouts, dietary habits, and the laboratory reports demonstrating very low parts per billion concentrations of the prohibited substance in the athlete’s urine sample. Based on this information, USADA concluded that the presence of clenbuterol in the athlete’s sample very likely resulted from clenbuterol contaminated meat consumed in Mexico. USADA’s investigation also took into consideration a negative result for a sample collected after Montano’s positive test. As a result, Montano will not face a period of ineligibility for his positive test.
While the risk of consuming clenbuterol-tainted meat and testing positive for an athlete is extremely small, consistent with past athlete advisories, USADA reminds athletes to use the utmost care if eating meat in known high risk countries, including Mexico and China. In line with WADA recommendations, USADA will continue to assess the presence of clenbuterol in an athlete’s sample on a case by case basis, taking into account all the evidence supporting the likelihood of such contamination.