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Fabricio Werdum gets reduced USADA suspension after providing ‘substantial assistance’

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The former UFC heavyweight champion is eligible to return to competition later this April.

Fabricio Werdum has found a way to get his US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) suspension significantly reduced.

The former UFC heavyweight champion will be eligible to return to competition at the start of April after providing USADA with that oh so mysterious “substantial assistance.” Here’s what USADA had to say in its official press release on Thursday.

USADA announced today that Fabricio Werdum, of Redondo Beach, Calif., was granted a 10-month reduction in his original two-year suspension. Werdum’s period of ineligibility began on May 22, 2018 but was tolled for a period of time while he was not available for testing and retired. After being reinstated, and with his reduction, his new period of ineligibility is set to expire on April 1, 2020.

Werdum, 42, received a reduction from the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility due to substantial assistance. Under the applicable rules, an athlete facing a period of ineligibility who provides information that leads to the discovery of another violation or which results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering an offense, is eligible for a sanction reduction.

Werdum becomes the second high-profile UFC fighter to have his suspension lightened because of “substantial assistance,” which has also been referred to in the past as the “snitching” clause. Jon Jones’ most recent USADA ban went from potentially four years to just 15 months in part because of his own provided substantial assistance, although he denied ever “snitching” on anyone.

The Brazilian had tested positive for the anabolic steroid trenbolone back in May of 2018, resulting in his removal from a planned main event bout vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk. He (evidently unsuccessfully) requested his release from the UFC roughly this time last year, but as the USADA press release noted, his retirement froze the suspension.

Werdum still has two fights left on his contract. His last fight ended in a KO loss to Alexander Volkov at UFC London, which occurred just two months before his positive drug test.