If it wasn’t already apparent, nutritional supplements tainted with Ostarine have become a bane for UFC fighters. Diego Sanchez is just the latest addition to a list of athletes suspended for the banned ‘selective androgen receptor modulator’ (SARM), a list that includes Sean O’Malley, Thibault Gouti, Amanda Ribas, Nicco Montano, Marvin Vettori, Augusto Mendes, Polo Reyes, Josh Barnett, Zubaira Tukhugov, Ruslan Magomedov, Jim Wallhead, Tom Lawlor, Carlos Diego Ferreira, and Tim Means.
Unfortunately, for fighters like Lawlor, Ferreira, Tukhugov, Magomedov and others who went through lengthy ordeals over their failed drug tests, as time has gone on USADA seems to be taking a less harsh approach to athletes found to have tested positive for the substance. That’s very fortunate for Sanchez, however, who finds himself on the receiving end of only a three-month suspension for his December 12th failed drug test.
“During an investigation into the circumstances of the positive test, Sanchez provided containers of products he was using at the time of the test for analysis at the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah,” USADA commented, in a written statement released on their website. “Although no prohibited substances were listed on the supplement labels, the analysis revealed that the products contained the selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) for which Sanchez tested positive.”
USADA went on to note, that while the supplements Sanchez was using were not part of the recently released “certified” supplement list for UFC athletes, “USADA determined that Sanchez’s exposure to these substances began on October 26, 2019, prior to the current UFC Anti-Doping Policy being announced.” USADA’s statement also notes for the future, that “...athletes who do not use one of the Certified Supplements designated in the UFC Anti-Doping Policy in light of the clear opportunity and benefit to do so should expect to receive a lengthier sanction.”
Interestingly, the drug testing agency reports that Sanchez’s 3-month period of ineligibility started at “the date he began using the products,” October 26th, 2019. That will leave him free and clear for his planned upcoming fight against Michel Pereira on February 15th, in Rio Rancho, NM. However, it appears to be an unusual policy decision considering most athlete suspensions are linked to the date of their first failed drug test. Bloody Elbow has reached out to USADA for comment, but has not received a reply at the time of posting.
Sanchez last competed against Michael Chiesa, back in July of last year—losing the bout by unanimous decision. That loss broke a two-fight win streak, with victories over Mickey Gall and Craig White.
UFC on ESPN+ 25 in Rio Rancho is set to be headlined by a light heavyweight rematch between Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz. Sanchez vs. Pereira is scheduled for the co-main event.