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UFC heavyweight Raphael Pessoa fails USADA drug test, suspended one year

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Heavyweight Raphael Pessoa tested positive for banned substances during out-of-competition exam.

UFC Fight Night: Whittaker v Till Weigh-in Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Yet another UFC athlete has failed a USADA drug test.

This time, it was heavyweight Raphael Pessoa, who tested positive for banned medication hydrochlorothiazide and its metabolites, which can serve as a diuretic and a masking agent for other substances.

In an interview with MMA Fighting, Pessoa explained he went to see a physician back in March, but did not warn the doctor about being a UFC fighter, which resulted in having hydrochlorothiazide prescribed for his treatment. Later on, in an out-of-competition test, ‘Bebezao’ ended up failing the exam and suffering a one-year suspension as punishment.

“I fell ill (in March) and went to a hospital but didn’t inform them I was a UFC fighter,” Pessoa told MMA Fighting. “The doctor prescribed me a medication and I took it, and now that was announced. But it’s OK, the suspension is almost over. I’ll be more alert about the medication they prescribe me now.”

In his last outing, Raphael Pessoa (10-2) got knocked out by Tanner Boser, back in July. Before that, the 31-year-old scored a unanimous decision over Jeff Hughes, in October 2019. Bebezao will be cleared to fight again once his one-year suspension ends, in March 2021.