USADA announced on Friday that UFC athlete Gian Villante has been granted a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and will therefore not face an anti-doping policy violation for disclosing the use of an inhaler, which contains a prohibited substance as an active ingredient, and testing positive for that prohibited active ingredient. The announcement was made because the issuance of the retroactive TUE resolves a potential anti-doping policy violation.
Villante, 31, declared the use of a Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate/vilanterol) inhaler during an out-of-competition urine test conducted on Jan. 18, 2017, and subsequently tested positive for vilanterol. Vilanterol is a prohibited substance in the category of Beta-2 Agonists and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Following his disclosure, USADA advised Villante that absent a valid TUE, the use of the inhaler was prohibited under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Thereafter, Villante submitted a TUE application documenting that his physician prescribed a 14-day course of the inhaler to treat conditions associated with airflow restriction and asthma.
Upon a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding Villante’s use of vilanterol, which included the retroactive TUE application process, USADA determined that the athlete had an unequivocally diagnosed acute medical condition for which the use of vilanterol is consistent with the standard of care. Further, it was determined that the short-term use of the Breo Ellipta inhaler was within the manufacturer’s therapeutic recommendation and was intended to return the athlete to a normal state of health without providing a performance-enhancing benefit. Finally, other permitted therapeutic alternatives were not successful at controlling the athlete’s condition.
Because Villante’s TUE application was granted retroactively, his declaration of a prohibited substance and his subsequent positive test will not result in an anti-doping policy violation. Accordingly, Villante remains eligible to compete on the UFC Fight Night Card in Fortaleza, Brazil, on March 11, 2017. He is slated to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in Brazil.