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George Sullivan pulled from UFC 208 after another USADA violation

UFC veteran George Sullivan is facing another suspension from USADA, following an out-of-competition test taken earlier this month.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Sullivan vs Means Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With just two weeks to go before UFC 208 in Brooklyn, New York, UFC welterweight George Sullivan has been removed from his fight vs. Randy Brown. To make matters worse, Sullivan was just wrapping up his one-year USADA suspension after he voluntarily disclosed his use of a banned substance that was in a deer antler velvet product. UFC officials announced the news earlier this week in an official press release.

“The UFC organization was formally notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed George Sullivan of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection taken on January 14, 2017.

Sullivan is currently serving a one year suspension under the UFC Anti-Doping Program, for his use of a product containing the prohibited substance Insulin Growth Factor -1 (IGF-1). Sullivan was due to end his current suspension on January 31, 2017, and compete on the UFC 208 card in Brooklyn, New York, against Randy Brown. However, USADA has provisionally suspended Sullivan based on the new potential anti-doping violation, and the UFC has removed Sullivan from the UFC 208 card. The UFC is currently seeking a replacement to face Randy Brown.”

Sullivan’s original ban was for a year (as opposed to two), with USADA citing the following:

“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete’s period of ineligibility for using a prohibited substance may be decreased if the athlete lacks significant fault for the anti-doping policy violation. In this instance, USADA determined that Sullivan’s reduced degree of fault and his forthright declaration of the product at issue justified a reduction to one year from the maximum two-year period of ineligibility.”

Sullivan later released this statement on Facebook, calling the whole thing a “misunderstanding” and said that the use of a fertility pill was to blame for the flagged drug test, and that he would be sending documentation to USADA.

Hey guys it's a misunderstanding about a fertility pill I started taking 3 weeks ago to try and have a baby. dr Morgan...

Posted by George Sullivan on Thursday, January 26, 2017

The 35-year-old Sullivan (17-5, 1 NC) last fought at UFC on FOX 18 in January 2016, when he lost by KO to Alexander Yakovlev. His overall UFC record is 3-2, dating back to his debut in January 2014.

UFC officials are now searching for a replacement opponent for Brown, and there’s not much time left to find one.

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