Ex-UFC champ Nicco Montano among four fighters suspended six-months by USADA

April 23, 2019

Former UFC women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano is one of four fighters facing a six month suspension from USADA for violating the UFC’s anti-doping policy.

USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) officials made the announcement on Tuesday.

Montano, Sean O’Malley, Augusto Mendes and Marvin Vettori all tested positive for trace elemnts of the banned substance Ostarine, which was ‘consistent with supplement contamination’.

“The trace amounts of ostarine found in each of the athlete’s samples was made possible by sensitive laboratory detection capabilities,” USADA officials stated. “However, as detection windows increase and the potential time between ingestion and detection lengthens, it has become more difficult for athletes to identify a contaminated product that may be the source of their positive test.

“As a consequence, the investigation period in ostarine cases is frequently relatively long, as has been the case in each of the cases announced today.”

Here’s how the suspensions broke down with their eligibility date to return:

Nicco Montano — tested positive for ostarine following an out of competition drug test on Oct. 25, 2018. Suspension started Nov. 15, 2018, which means she will be eligible to return after May 15.

Sean O’Malley — tested positive for ostarine following out of competition tests conducted on Sept. 5, 2018 and Dec. 8, 2018. Both positive tests were treated as a single occurrence because of the amount of ostarine in both samples ‘consistent with ingestion prior to Sept. 5, 2018’. His suspension began on Sept. 19, 2018 and he’s already eligible to compete again.

Marvin Vettori — tested positive for ostarine following an out of competition drug test conducted on Aug. 24, 2018. His suspension started on Aug. 24 and he is already eligible to compete again.

Augusto Mendes — tested positive for ostarine following an out of competition drug test conducted on March 7, 2018. His date of suspension started on March 20, 2018, which means he is also eligible to return to action.

Ostarine has been a common problem with drug testing in the UFC with numerous athletes testing positive for the banned substance in the past.

In addition to these four athletes, fighters such as Josh Barnett, Marco Polo Reyes, Tom Lawlor and Tim Means have also tested positive for ostarine under the UFC’s anti-doping program over the last few years.