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Cyborg failed to disclose banned substance use until after positive test

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Cris Cyborg didn’t tell USADA she was using a banned substance until after her test results came back positive. She should have disclosed it while giving her sample. Iain Kidd explains.

Cris Cyborg

I’ve been trying for several weeks now to get confirmation from USADA about the rumors that Cris Cyborg failed to disclose her spironolactone use when she was supposed to. Early this morning USADA communications manager, Ryan Madden, sent the following statement:

“Her use of the medication was not initially disclosed; but more importantly, once contacted by USADA, she immediately identified the medication as the source of her positive test, submitted all necessary medical information and demonstrated that it was being used for legitimate medical purposes without enhancing her performance. Those are the primary considerations when reviewing any TUE application.”

Athletes are supposed to note all medications and supplements they are taking--banned or not--when filling out a doping control form at the time of a test. This means Cris should have listed her spironolactone in order to be fully compliant with USADA rules.

As noted by Erik Magraken at, USADA would appear to be well within their rights to punish an athlete for failing to disclose this information. Despite this, it appears USADA elected not to do so in the case of Cyborg.

As I recently wrote, the UFC’s lax retroactive TUE policies allow athletes to use banned substances, and only apply for a retroactive TUE if and when they get caught. It is now evident that this is what occurred with Cris Cyborg.