There’s a lot of confusion surrounding Paulo Costa’s sudden withdrawal from his highly anticipated bout with Yoel Romero earlier this month.
The Brazilian middleweight prospect claims he was pulled from UFC on ESPN 3 by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) due to his use of a stomach medication from 2017, but the NYSAC says they only fined the 28-year-old.
“Evidence received and reviewed by the Commission conclusively showed that Mr. Costa failed to comply with Commission rules and policies regarding the use and disclosure of non-performance enhancing substances while licensed. The Commission shall have the authority to inquire into the affairs of licensees, permit holders and other authorized persons or entities, and into any matter which may affect combative sports or professional wrestling in New York in its discretion and without limitations. Licensees, permit holders, and otherwise authorized persons or entities shall cooperate fully with inquiries by the Commission,” NYSAC spokesperson Lee Park said in a statement to MMA Fighting.
In an update by UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky, the anti-doping czar says the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is still evaluating ‘Borrachinha’s’ case.
“I don’t have any comment on that,” Novitzky said on a recent episode of the UFC Unfiltered podcast (h/t Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting). “My understanding is that New York has issued him a fine or a sanction and that USADA is still evaluating this. It’s not until cases are adjudicated and resolved that we comment on them. So I’m not gonna comment on that one right now.”
Costa, who is on a twelve-fight win streak, denies ever using performance-enhancing drugs and plans to make ‘Soldier of God’ pay for his accusatory remarks.