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Paulo Costa handed six-month suspension by USADA for IV usage

Paulo Costa has been suspended by USADA, but is already eligible to fight.

UFC 217: Hendricks v Costa Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

UFC middleweight Paulo Costa has been a subject of confusion for some time now. He was originally scheduled to face Yoel Romero in a main event fight this month, but was pulled from the bout due to an apparent run-in with USADA. Costa insisted that he never used PEDs and it would all be cleared up soon.

Today, it was.

Costa has been suspended for six months by USADA for illegal IV usage, along with his brother Carlos Costa, and he has been fined by two different commissions. He accepted this suspension, and the anti-drug association stated that their sanctions were reduced “based on substantial assistance the Costas provided to USADA”.

The suspension is retroactive to August 10th, 2018, which makes him eligible to fight now.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from USADA’s release that explain the situation:

“Based on video and other corroborating evidence, USADA determined that on June 2, 2017, Paulo Costa, 27, received an intravenous infusion (IV) of permitted substances, including saline solution and a stomach medication, of more than 100 mL per 12-hour period after weigh-in for UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). On November 3, 2017, Paulo Costa again received an IV infusion of permitted substances of more than 100 mL per 12-hour period after weigh-in for UFC 217 in New York City, New York, without a TUE.

Both infusions were administered by Carlos Costa.”

And here’s the explanation of the fines:

“Paulo Costa’s use of a prohibited method on June 2, 2017 also falls under the jurisdiction of the Comissão Atlética Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA), which has recognized USADA’s sanction and will additionally fine Paulo $4,000 (1/3 of the UFC 212 purse), all of which will revert to his opponent in UFC 212. In addition, the New York State Athletic Commission has resolved Paulo Costa’s case arising from the November 3, 2017, IV with no period of ineligibility and a $9,333.33 fine (1/3 of the UFC 217 purse). Neither Commission will impose any additional sanction on Carlos Costa.”

Costa (12-0, 4-0 UFC) is an emerging contender at 185 pounds. His last fight was a TKO win over Uriah Hall in July 2018. He was unhappy that Romero (sort of) leveled PED accusations at him, and promises to get revenge for making things personal.