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Yair Rodriguez suspended six months by USADA

UFC 211: Edgar v Rodriguez Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White recently told the mixed martial arts (MMA) media that top-ranked featherweight phenom Yair Rodriguez would not be returning to the Octagon for the foreseeable future.

Now we know why.

Rodriguez, 28, was suspended by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after failing to file his location a total of three times over the past 12 months. Athletes must be available around the clock for drug testing, something Yancy Medeiros found out the hard way.

“Rodriguez failed to update his Whereabouts information and was unavailable for testing at locations provided in his Whereabouts Filings on three occasions,” USADA officials wrote in a statement (via MMA Fighting). “He accrued a Whereabouts Failure in each of the first three quarters of 2020. The accumulation of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period constitutes a policy violation under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”

Rodriguez (13-2, 1 NC) isn’t the first UFC fighter to be benched for a Whereabouts Violation. Nick Diaz (shocker) was also sat back in 2017 because USADA reps were unable to locate him. When they finally did track him down, things went from bed to worse.

“Pantera,” currently ranked No. 4 at 145 pounds, was expected to battle Zabit Magomedsharipov after recovering from his ankle injury; however, that bout is now likely to go to “The Korean Zombie” at some point in early 2021.