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Diego Sanchez suspended by USADA, gets to fight anyway because rules are for chumps

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UFC Fight Night: Lamas v Sanchez Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Longtime UFC veteran Diego Sanchez was slapped with a three-month suspension for flunking a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug test back on Dec. 12, according to Shaheen Al-Shatti, but not to worry, his Michel Pereira fight at UFC Rio Rancho remains intact.

No, your math is not wrong.

USADA decided to arbitrarily move the suspension back to October because the whiz kids who work in those super secret testing labs figured that’s when Sanchez was first exposed to the tainted supplement (Ostarine, S-23) that caused his drug test to return hot.

From the official USADA playbook:

“Under the revised UFC Anti-Doping Policy, if a situation arises where an athlete tests positive and is able to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the cause of the positive test was due to a supplement certified by one of the certifiers in the UFC rules, he or she will not be subject to an anti-doping policy violation and will be permitted to compete after follow-up testing and when there is no performance enhancing benefit in question.”

More on that “revised” policy here.

I don’t have a problem with Sanchez getting a slap on the wrist. But if you’re going to move suspension dates so that they don’t interfere with upcoming fights (Sanchez is a local draw) then why even bother with a suspension in the first place?

What exactly is he being suspended from if he’s not competing?

The entire system has been called into question after the picogram fiasco back in late 2018, which forced both UFC and USADA to reevaluate its approach to drug testing. That’s good news for everyone moving forward, but bad news for everyone who’s already been crucified.