Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion, Fabricio Werdum, will not have to wait until 2021 to return to the Octagon. That’s because United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) has reduced his two-year suspension down 10 months after testing positive for steroids in 2018.
The reason? Apparently, “Vai Cavalo” took advantage of USADA’s policy to have a suspension reduced if you help the company identify other athletes who aren't exactly fighting clean.
From the official statement:
USADA announced today that Fabricio Werdum, of Redondo Beach, Calif., was granted a 10-month reduction in his original two-year suspension. Werdum’s period of ineligibility began on May 22, 2018 but was tolled for a period of time while he was not available for testing and retired. After being reinstated, and with his reduction, his new period of ineligibility is set to expire on April 1, 2020. Werdum, 42, received a reduction from the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility due to substantial assistance. Under the applicable rules, an athlete facing a period of ineligibility who provides information that leads to the discovery of another violation or which results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering an offense, is eligible for a sanction reduction.
On April 25, 2018, he tested positive for trenbolone and its metabolite epitrenbolone following an out-of-competition urine test. Trenbolone is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and the UFC Prohibited List. Werdum’s two-year period of ineligibility began on May 22, 2018, the date his provisional suspension was imposed.”
Fabricio was handed the two-year ban from fighting stemming from a positive result from a test conducted in April of 2018, but his sentence didn’t begin until May 18. He was initially set to return in May of this year, but after he retired from the sport, USADA put the suspension on hold.
Werdum was last seen him get knocked out by Alexander Volkov in the fourth round of UFC Fight Night 127 in March of 2018. He was set to face Alexey Oleynik at UFC Fight Night 136 event in Moscow, Russia before news of his failed drug test surfaced.
Interestingly enough, Werdum once revealed that he had turned down the offer from USADA to “snitch” on a fellow fighter.
“They said, ‘Werdum, if you tell on someone’ – using the slang, if you’re a snitch – ‘we’ll shorten your suspension,’” Werdum said.
“For the guy to make me an offer like that, to snitch on someone, that goes against my principles. I can’t tell on someone. Even if I knew, I wouldn’t do it. How am I going to snitch on someone to make it better for me, to lower my suspension or whatever?”
That said, details as to what kind of information the ex-champion gave USADA were not revealed.