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Four fighters, including ex-UFC champ Nicco Montano, suspended six months by USADA

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Nicco Montano, Sean O’Malley, Augusto Mendes and Marvin Vettori have all accepted six-month USADA suspensions in contaminated supplement cases.

MMA: TUF 26 Finale Montano vs Modafferi
Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Roxanne Modafferi (not pictured) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

USADA is now apparently handing out sanctions in bulk.

The UFC’s anti-doping partner has suspended Nicco Montano, Sean O’Malley, Augusto Mendes, and Marvin Vettori six months, it announced Tuesday. All four fighters failed out-of-competition drug tests for ostarine, but USADA determined the positive tests were all a result of the use of contaminated supplements. The agency found “no evidence of intentional use” in any of the four cases, per a press release.

Montano failed her drug test on Oct. 25, 2018, and her suspension began Nov. 15. She is eligible to return May 15. Montano was the first UFC women’s flyweight champion, but hasn’t fought since her title win in December 2017.

O’Malley failed two tests, on Sept. 5, 2018 and Dec. 8, 2018, respectively. USADA treated both positives as one violation, however, because “the amount of ostarine in both samples is consistent with ingestion prior” to Sept. 5. His suspension is already over. O’Malley is a popular bantamweight prospect who was found on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Mendes failed his test on March 7, 2018. His suspension began later that month and is already over. Mendes, a bantamweight, is no longer in the UFC. Mendes was granted his release last June.

Vettori, a current UFC middleweight, failed his test on Aug. 24, 2018. His suspension is also already over.

Ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM), which are similar to anabolic agents, per USADA. Tom Lawlor, a former UFC light heavyweight, received a two-year ban for the same substance and wasn’t released from his contract until two months before his suspension was up.