Ion Cutelaba turns green at the weigh ins, like the Incredible Hulk, but he may want to start turning yellow, like the sun, exchanging gamma radiation for ultraviolet rays.
I’m not sure how else to explain his recent suspension from United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), who benched the Moldovan for six months — retroactive to last November — over the use of ozone therapy.
WTF is that?
Ozone therapy is thought — but not yet clinically proven — to safely improve the body’s intake and use of oxygen while supercharging the immune system. Cutelaba disclosed his use of the alternative treatment (and corresponding blood transfusion) and it cost him a spot at UFC 217 in New York.
His official statement, courtesy of MMA Fighting:
It has been a very difficult and emotional past few months. I maintain that during my Ozonotherapy I did not take any illegal products and have never acted with intent to cheat in my life. My intentions have always been pure. My violation is not one of cheating, but one of ignorance where I accepted a treatment which would not have had any performance enhancing effect, but alas was banned under the USADA rules.
Ozone therapy first came under WADA scrutiny by way of cycling scandal back in 2009 and is clearly labeled a no-no with one simple Google search, so the “ignorance” defense is hard to swallow.
Either way, his potential two-year suspension was reduced to six months.
After an 11-1 start to his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, “The Hulk” went 2-2 under the UFC banner and hasn’t competed since taking out Henrique da Silva at UFC Fight Night 110 last June.
Cutelaba is eligible to return on May 3.