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Junior dos Santos, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira cleared for UFC return after USADA exposes dirty lab in Brazil

UFC on Fox: Live Heavyweight Championship Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos, was shocked when United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) popped him for performance-enhancing drugs, insisting he did not intentionally cheat.

Looks like he was right.

Turns out the Brazilian pharmacy that was providing his nutritional supplements was lacing its products with banned substances, which also returned positive results for Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Marco Rogerio de Lima.

“We appreciate the cooperation of the athletes and international authorities in getting to the bottom of this situation, as it will hopefully prevent these problems from occurring in the future,” said Travis T. Tygart, CEO of USADA. “It’s unacceptable that these compounding pharmacies produced contaminated supplements for the public. And it’s another unfortunate example of why athletes must use extreme caution if using nutritional supplements.”

All three fighters accepted reduced, six-months sentences and have been cleared to return to the Octagon.

Dos Santos (18-5) has not competed since his technical knockout loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 211 in May 2017. “Cigano” was previously booked to tangle with Francis Ngannou at UFC 215 prior to his violation.

As for Nogueira, he was scheduled to throw hands opposite Jared Cannonier at the UFC on FOX 26 event until USADA intervened. No word yet on what the future holds for any of the aforementioned fighters, but at least they still have future.

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